Orlando Pirates go into their opening game of the 2022/23 DStv Premiership season under new coach Jose Riveiro full of confidence that they can claim maximum points. 

This is exactly how Pirates’ newly appointed club captain and defender Innocent Maela feels on the eve of a crunch original Soweto Derby against arch-rivals Swallows FC at Orlando stadium tomorrow afternoon (15:00).

Riveiro, who has brought with him his own technical members to the existing team of former co-coach Mandla Ncikazi and goalkeeper coach Tyron Damons – previously with Yanga and Bidvest Wits, will get his first taste of South African topflight football and Maela is confident they can get things off to a good start.

“The first game of the season – the original Soweto derby, it’s not going to be easy, we know Swallows always give us a tough match. But it’s a home game for us and we should use that to our advantage,” Maela told SABC Sport.

“It’s also the first experience for the coach in our league. I believe we are ready to produce the result. I believe we are ready to play to the best of our ability and follow the game plan as best as we can.

“I believe if we start well, we will definitely get a positive result, but even if that doesn’t happen we need to stay patient and believe in the game plan. And I believe in the squad, I believe in the technical team and I’m sure we will get the result today.”

The match will be broadcast LIVE on SABC 1 (build-up from 14:30) and SABC Radio Stations. Kick-off is scheduled for 15:00 at Orlando Stadium.

By Velile Mnyandu

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