The Buccaneers will be hoping that the free-scoring player stays injury free after he handed the team its first win of the current season
Orlando Pirates co-interim coach Fadlu Davids has revealed their plans for prolific striker Tshegofatso Mabasa.
The 24-year-old hitman came off the bench to score a late winning goal for the Buccaneers as they claimed a 1-0 win over their Soweto rivals, Swallows FC in a PSL encounter on Saturday.
It was Mabasa’s second appearance of the current season for the left-footed marksman, who has proved to be injury-prone since he joined the Soweto giants from Bloemfontein Celtic in July 2019.
Davids, who is a retired striker, explained that they are building Mabasa up around his individual periodisation plan having missed pre-season due to injury.
“He was cleared at the time of our first match against Swallows [in the MTN8 quarter-final match on August 14],” Davids told the media.
“So he is still going through the process of his own pre-season, so to say. We’re building him up around his individual periodisation plan, but so far he’s doing well.”
Mabasa struggled with injuries last season and he was mainly used as a substitute – scoring five times from two starts in the league for the Houghton-based side.
Davids pointed out that the Botshabelo-born frontman is different from other forwards in Pirates’ striking department with the player having netted 13 goals from 10 starts in the league since joining Bucs
“We know he can’t yet complete a full 90 minutes in terms of the intensity that we want. But it’s a step-by-step process for him,” he continued.
“Yes, he always has a goal in him and he’s a different type of striker from what we have. He’s also always in the right place at the right time.”
Mabasa’s last start for the Buccaneers in a league game was against Black Leopards in May this year and he grabbed a brace as Bucs claimed a 3-0 win at Orlando Stadium.
Pirates will be hoping that Mabasa finds the back of the net again when they take on a wounded Chippa United side at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The Chilli Boys succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to a struggling Royal AM side in a PSL match over the weekend and they will be desperate to secure their first win over Pirates since 2016.