Ghanaian Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori is looking forward to the club’s participation in the CAF Champions League as one of the biggest opportunities of his career to highlight why he has earned this rating.
Speaking from the Buccaneers’ training camp in Spain this week, Ofori said the team is focused on making a massive impact in the Champions League. This was offset by Ofori’s desire to do the same.
“The CAF Champions League is one of the biggest tournaments we have on the African continent and it’s a dream to play in it. The competition is very good. As Orlando Pirates, we are in it to compete and not just to add numbers. We will go there to compete, and other clubs know what they can do.” Presented by Orlando Pirates on a good day.”
This will be the Champions League debut for the keeper who was instrumental to his former club, the WA All Stars of Ghana, as they won their first national league title in 2016.
That ensured the Wa All-Stars a place in the Champions League, but Ofori squandered that experience when he explored countless other opportunities based on the club’s widespread interest in Europe following his performances that season.
Ofori was then denied another major football tournament when Ghana failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“It was a huge challenge to miss the Champions League and the World Cup because every player’s dream is to play in the biggest tournaments in the world.
“I was very disappointed not to be there. But when we were at camp with the team, I watched South African football and always wanted to play in this league. I visited the Orlando Pirates training ground and was impressed with the professionalism. I knew then that I wanted to play for this club one day And now I’m here.”
Ofori’s own experience with the Wa All-Stars could be beneficial for Orlando Pirates in the Champions League, as travel and local conditions can certainly test a team’s resolve.
Wa All Stars was based in northern Ghana. Sometimes we played in the middle of the week and then again on Sunday, so I traveled 10-14 hours to attend matches. It was hard. But we managed to play well and keep the team going to win the league. We went through a lot as a team to win that year.”