By Mthetho Ndoni
HAVING failed to win the Safa’s Eastern Cape Second Division league title in their debut season last year, Bay Stars will be banking on their unstoppable strike-force to take them all the way this time around.
The combination of experienced players, Orlin Powell, Farouk Abrahams and Leroy van Rensburg, will form the goal-scoring thrust of their campaign.
It has not taken long for the trio to start scoring goals and they are looking more and more determined and hungry for success with each game.
While Powell and Abrahams are the leading strikers of the team, Van Rensburg performs more of an all-round role.
Powell, 29, from Cape Town recently joined the Port Elizabeth outfit Stars after he was poached by the coach Mark Harrison from Santos.
“I’m settling very well with the team and the players have made me feel at home. My objective is to score goals and help the team reach the promotion play-offs to the National First Division next season.”
Powell started playing professional football at the age of 17 for Ajax Cape Town. He has played as a striker for PSL teams such as FC Cape Town, Ajax Cape Town, Manning Rangers, Maritzburg United and Santos.
“While I was playing for the Santos reserve side, I met Mark Harrison, who was a coach for the junior team at Santos back then, and he liked my style of playing. After he joined Bay Stars as the head coach, he brought me to PE.”
Powell said the combination of Stars’ strikers was solid both on and off the field.
“We’ve got an understanding as strikers and we support each other because we all want to reach the same objective for the team. We don’t care who scores in a match as long as the team wins.”
He says once Stars get promoted to the NFD league, he will be a step closer to achieving his dream of returning to the PSL.
Abrahams, 27, has been serving Stars as a goal-scorer since last season.
He scored three crucial goals against Highbury last weekend which helped his team reach the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup Eastern Cape Safa’s Second Division League.
He was recruited from Port Elizabeth’s Callies when Stars were established in 2010.
“I started playing football from an early age and I’ve been playing for 20 years.
“My lifelong dream was to be scouted and to play for a professional team. I had that opportunity when I joined Bay Stars.”
His reputation preceded him and Stars’ technical director Mark Tommy approached him back then to join the newly-formed Stars.
“I knew I was going to bang away winning goals for the team as we did well in our first season in the league. It was a great learning for me.
“With the number of determined strikers we have this season, I’m sure that the team will lift up the provincial championship title.”
This is a shortened version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend Post on Saturday, November 10, 2012.