Jomo Sono has no doubt his former trooper Melusi Buthelezi will succeed at Orlando Pirates, revealing it was actually the side’s erstwhile goalkeeper coach, Avril Phali, who made sure they signed the shot-stopper when he turned up uninvited at one of their training sessions late in 2018.
“Buthelezi will do well at Pirates because he comes from good hands at Cosmos, where he worked very well with Avril. In fact, Avril is the one who said we must sign him when he came to our training as an unknown young boy without any invite. What will also make him succeed at Pirates is that he’s coachable and has already gained enough experience at Galaxy and at Bafana Bafana [he’s received a few call-ups in recent months],” Sono told Sowetan yesterday.
Phali, who also played for Pirates before retiring, has backed his protege to excel at the Buccaneers as well, saying what he just needs is that first chance. The former Pirates keeper also reflected how he convinced Sono to sign Buthelezi on the spot when he rocked up in one of their sessions unannounced.
“Melusi is a talented boy, so he’ll definitely make it at Pirates. I pray that they give him that first game and I have no doubt that he’ll grab the chance with both hands like Chaine did. Melusi is a good listener and that sets him apart from other players,” Phali said.
“Melusi never played for development at Cosmos, he went straight into the first team. The first thing I told Bra J [Sono] was that the boy’s height was good enough to make a good keeper. We signed him on the spot after a few minutes of [him] training with us. We just polished him here and there and he started playing in the NFD.”