Pirates' Erasmus dejected by CAF's ruling

Kermit Erasmus says he will divert his focus to the domestic league & cup games.

FILE: New Orlando Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus. Picture: Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates' new signing Kermit Erasmus has revealed that he was dejected when he learned that he cannot feature for the Buccaneers in their CAF Champions League campaign.

CAF rejected Pirates' attempt to register the striker for the continental competition because he turned out for his former club SuperSport United in the Confederations Cup this season.

The Port Elizabeth-born striker, whose unique choice of team number on his playing jersey was inspired by the Pirates side that first won the Champions League 18 years ago, says he was gutted by CAF's decision.

"It was a bit disappointing because one of the reasons why I chose No.95 was to represent the team because they won the CAF Champions League in 1995."

Erasmus added, "I was disappointed because I thought I could play a part and inspire them whenever I wore the jersey."

The striker hopes the current squad will do well in the tournament even without his contribution.

"I hope that while I'm playing in the league and cup competitions, wearing the number will still inspire my team-mates and the technical team."

Erasmus has urged the country to rally behind the Buccaneers and show their unwavering support.

Orlando Pirates remain the only team from Southern Africa to have won the title and their blistering performance appears to be fuelling them to add another star to their jersey.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Pirates striker says he is relishing playing his first competitive match for his new club when they open their league campaign on Thursday night.

Orlando Pirates host AmaZulu at Soccer City at 7pm on Thursday.

Erasmus only featured in the pre-season Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs, but he is yet to kick a ball in a competitive match.

He says he remains composed despite high expectations from the team's demanding fans.

"I'm not putting any pressure on myself; I'm feeling a lot of support from the fans. Everybody is welcoming me still.

"I'm just excited and hope I can make them proud when we play tomorrow."

Erasmus says he is hoping for a fairy tale start to his league campaign at the new club and he wants to help them win.