Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Ofori says moving to Orlando Pirates after three years at Maritzburg United was a choice he did not just make lightly.
Ofori made the switch to one of the biggest clubs in Africa and top of the hierarchy of South African football, Pirates from The Team of Choice, where he was arguably the side’s best player and captain.
Every transfer is essentially a gamble and one can never predict how a player will settle into his new environment.
Ofori arrived at Rand Stadium in Johannesburg to start training with his new club, the Buccaneers and teammates.
“Training has been good. I have been welcomed in the team with opened arms by everybody here which has been great. Everyone here is very friendly. The organization and professionalism have been of international standard,” said Ofori, a capable shot-stopper who will compete with Wayne Sandilands and Siyabonga Mpontshane for the Pirates No 1 jersey.
“As for training, well what I can say is that the intensity is very high, but I am adapting well. I’m also getting accustomed to a different methodology of training under the goalkeeper coach Jyri [Nieminen] which has been good,” he added.
The 26-year-old understands the pressure that comes with donning the famous black and white jersey of Pirates and says he simply wants a challenge.
“It’s a team sport and at the end of the day, you need to be one and try to win things. I am here to work but I can’t do it alone. We need to move as a team. I know that as a team we can do a lot for the Orlando Pirates family,” said Ofori.
“It’s a very good feeling to play with big giants. It’s a very good feeling because normally when you are playing, you’ll be in front of the team, but now when you look around you have people that you know can fight for the badge,” concluded Ghana’s No 1.
Ofori will likely be part of the matchday squad when Pirates begin their DStv Premiership campaign at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium against AmaZulu on Saturday evening.
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I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and warm heart feels to the entire family of the Blue army. This is my home and i will forever have it at heart wherever I go. It’s of great honor that I have grown and became what I am in the hands of the most loving family in the world. To the funs, I can’t thank you enough! You’ve always given me the best comfort. Even at our worst times, you made me feel expendable and at our best you made me feel nothing but love… To my team mates, you are friends that became my chosen family and the bond will forever be. To the technical team, thanks for grooming me into the best of my abilities and I shall forever honor that. To the chairman!! You are my role model, you’ve taught me how to fight and get through battles even at times I didn’t see a way though… I feel very lucky to have been apart of the Maritzburg United family. Life is a journey and at this point, my journey leads me somewhere else but I will forever have a special place in my heart for the blue army and I’ll fly the flag of the Blue Army wherever I go. Thank you with all my heart Blue Army Family. Richard Ofori
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
Main picture courtesy of Orlando Pirates