Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Onyekachi Okonkwo has been welcomed back to the Soweto side as the Sea Robbers realigns its arsenal in readiness for the 2012/13 season.
|Onyekachi Okonkwo © Backpagepix
The deal was concluded in the early hours of this morning following a meeting between the former Enyimba player and club chairman Dr Irvin Khoza.
The league champions also confirmed the signings of Bidvest Wits left back, Patrick Phungwayo, Free State Stars duo of Ayanda Gcaba and Manti Moholo, Khethokwakhe Masuku from Black Leopards and lesser known youngster Aubrey Ngoma from newly promoted AmaTuks.
The Nigerian international (30), who left in 2007 to sign for Swiss club FC Zurich expressed his delight to be back at the club and is looking forward to donning the famous black and white jersey once again.
“Well, you know what they say, Once a Pirate always a Pirate,” said Okonkwo. “This is a club which has been very close to my heart, even when I was playing overseas I always kept contact with the chairman to find out how he and the club were doing.
“To come back to Pirates after five years playing abroad will be challenging for a number of reasons, for starters the team I will be joining will be completely different to the team I left behind in 2007. So although I’ve played here before it will be like joining a new club but I look forward to the challenge.”
The former FC Zurich player who used to boast about being the second most loved Nigerian player at Pirates (after William Okpara) during his first stint at the club, said he is relishing the prospect of reconnecting with the Ghost.
“I am really looking forward to playing my first game in front of the Pirates supporters. I enjoyed playing in front of them because they were always there when I needed the support.
The midfielder who wore the number 28 jersey (which is currently worn by defender Rooi Mahamutsa) in his first stint at the club has not yet been assigned a number for the new season.
The club will later make known the names of players who will be released from the club.