Richards Bay goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane, who once donned the famous Black and White jersey of Orlando Pirates, says his confidence was resuscitated last week when the Soweto giants came hard in the second half to test him from range in the league match.
Mabokgwane was in goals as Bay held Pirates in the DStv Premiership match at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
Mabokgwane, who spent three seasons with Pirates between 2016 and 2019, made his third appearance in consecutive matches for Bay since he joined the club this season.
“From a young age, I was taught to have a good game,” reacted Mabokgwane to iDiski Times for the first time speaking to the media on Tuesday since he joined the club.
“When I was nervous, one of my former goalkeeper coaches Alex Heredia (at Bafana) used to say, ‘You shouldn’t be nervous but feel excited because this is a moment for me to shine’. That has actually worked for me. Whenever the team is attacking us, I become happy to say ‘This is the time for me to shine and make a nice save’.
“Of course, Pirates are a good side and they will always create those kinds of chances, opportunities but I’m happy that I was able to be in the right positions and give a good account of myself. So well done to the team for defending very well.”
Mabokgwane was on the receiving end of the shooting drills with Bay at Empangeni High School on Tuesday as they host the tricky and dangerous Stellenbosch FC in the Carling Knockout semi-final at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
The 35-year-old knows this competition well, having been part of Pirates side that lost to Baroka FC at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the 2018/19 season when the competition was known as Telkom Knockout.
“The most important thing is for us to get through to the next round,” said Mabokgwane when asked if he has an inside lane to feature on Saturday.
Mabokgwane has a big chance to start for Bay because Salim Magoola will not feature in this competition due to being Muslim and it is against his belief since this cup is sponsored by SA breweries – Carling. The Ugandan international has missed the last two stages of the competition, with coach Kaitano Tembo opting with the scholar Philasande Manqele in goals.
“The coaches have started with preparations for us and for me, it is important to do the job that I have been doing and keep the momentum. But I’m just happy to be back and I will be ready to play on Saturday (provided the coach selects me).”