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SA SOCCER NEWS
Phakathi happy again at Pirates 20/02/04
Orlando Pirates midfielder Bheka Phakathi has sorted out his differences with the clubs management and is no longer seeking a transfer away from the Soweto giants.

The veteran midfielder has tasted little action this campaign after playing a starring role in the Sea Robbers championship winning team last season.

His fortunes took a nosedive following the resignation of coach Roy Barreto last November with care-taker coach Augusto Palacios preferring to give the clubs youth brigade a chance in the first team.

Phakathi was reportedly frustrated at having to kick his heels on the sidelines and was said to be seeking a move back to his former club Golden Arrows.

But what a difference a few weeks can make.

Thrust back into the thick of things quite unexpectedly against Dynamos two weeks ago, the 29-year-old repaid Palacios faith in him by capping a stellar performance with two well-taken goals.

He followed this up with another strike in the Buccaneers 2-2 draw with Silver Stars to reinforce his worth to a team that has battled for goals this season.

I was delighted with the way I performed against Dynamos and scoring the two goals was the best thing to have happened after such a long time without any action, Phakathi told the latest edition of Soccer-Laduma.

I spent almost two months in frustration but now thats a thing of the past, he added.

Phakathi told the weekly publication he is no longer seeking a transfer after being assured that he is very much a part of Palacios plans.

Everything has been sorted out, said Phakathi. The thing is, after being out of the picture I thought I was not in the coachs plans.

At the same time I had personal problems back home. Fortunately when I met with management, the coach gave me a satisfactory explanation.

Phakathi was told by Palacios that he was introducing a new system of player rotation in which most of the squad would be given the chance to prove themselves.

But he stressed that he wasnt going to compromise the winning combination, says the Lamontville-born player.

That was understandable because Augusto Palacios is the same man who recommended me to the Orlando Pirates management.

Im happy to be back and I am prepared to see my contract through until the end of next season, he added.

Phakathi has one Bafana Bafana cap to his credit.

Before joining Amabhakabhaka, Phakathi played 66 game for Golden Arrows, scoring 10 goals.

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