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Orlando Pirates release eight players ahead of new season

Orlando Pirates confirmed the release of eight first-team players on Tuesday morning.

The Buccaneers have already brought in reinforcements ahead of the upcoming season, with four new faces added to Josef Zinnbauer’s squad.

Orlando Pirates player exodus

The list of eight squad members released is largely made up of players who spent the past season on loan elsewhere, while a couple of players who featured for the Soweto giants recently also ended their stay at the club.

According to a statement issued out by Pirates, all players depart after both parties “agreed to mutually terminate” their contracts.

Zambian striker Augustine Mulenga is one of the more high-profile names in the list. The 30-year-old featured 12 times in the league in the past campaign, contributing a single goal to take his tally to eight across competitions in over 50 appearances in Bucs colours.

Two other prominent first-team players in midfielder Xola Mlambo and defender Alfred Ndengane also parted ways with the club.

With a host of midfielder brought on board, the former Bidvest Wits man quickly fell out of favour, making just eight league appearances in the 2019/20 campaign.

Ndengane is another one who slid down the pecking order, featuring 11 times in the league with the majority of his appearances coming from the bench.

Squad overhaul 

Other players who exited the Pirates camp include defenders Diamond Thopola and Tercious Malepe, who were both on loan at Chippa United in the past two seasons, along with midfielder Meshack Maphangule.

The other two are Thembela Sikhakhane and Brian Hlongwa, who spent the last campaign on loan at AmaZulu and Real King, respectively.

The Soweto giants have wished all eight players well.

“The Club would like to thank all the players for their service and wish them the best in their future endeavours.”

Orlando Pirates

Pirates have recently welcomed a defender plus three attacking midfielders ahead of the coming season.

Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo joined the club along with ex-Wits teammates, Deon Hotto and Terrence Dzvukamanja, while Collins Makgaka arrived from Baroka.

The Buccaneers begin the new season with an MTN 8 quarterfinal clash against Cape Town City at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, 17 October.

Released players 

• Alfred Ndengane

• Diamond Thopola

• Xola Mlambo

• Meshack Maphangule

• Brian Hlongwa

• Thembela Sikhakhane

• Augustine Mulenga

• Tercious Malepe

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