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Hlatshwayo: Former Orlando Pirates’ defender should be Bafana Bafana captain – SuperSport United’s Hunt

10:58 PM SGT 20/10/22
Thulani Hlatshwayo, SuperSport United, October 2022
SuperSport United head coach Gavin Hunt has said Thulani Hlatshwayo should be Bafana Bafana captain.
  • Hlatshwayo last captained Bafana in 2021
  • Hugo Broos replaced him with Ronwen Williams
  • The former Bucs defender is a central figure in Hunt’s team

WHAT HAPPENED? Tyson, as Hlatshwayo is also known, lost the national armband when Hugo Broos appointed Ronwen Williams as the first captain and Percy Tau as his assistant when he took over the team from Molefi Ntseki.

Hlatshwayo last captained the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winners in their 2-1 loss against Sudan in March 2021. The loss to the Eastern Africans saw Bafana miss a ticket to take part in the Afcon finals in Cameroon.

The defender grew through Bafana’s ranks, having played for the junior sides at U17, U20, and U23 levels before he graduated to the senior side and became the captain.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID? "Tyson should still be captain of Bafana and I don’t care what anybody says," Hunt stated.

"He is 32 years old and is not even in his prime as a centre-back. He had a rough patch, and you can’t just be throwing away a player like that. No chance. Not for me."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: After Hlatshwayo was released by Orlando Pirates, he joined SuperSport United, where he has enjoyed a continued run of games under the former Kaizer Chiefs coach.

He has featured in 11 Premier Soccer League games as his side sits third on the table standings.

Meanwhile, the experienced centre-back was not even called up by Broos during recent South Africa engagements.

The Belgian coach has preferred a central defense partnership revolving around Rushine de Reuck, Siyanda Xulu, Nkosinathi Sibisi, and Innocent Maela in recent games.

WHAT NEXT FOR HLATSHWAYO? He is expected to be part of SuperSport United’s starting eleven due to face Swallows FC on October 30.

Although Hunt’s side has been impressive as far as goal-scoring exploits are concerned, the major worry has been their failure to register clean sheets. They have only managed one in their last six games, meaning that Hlatshwayo and his defensive unit has some work to do going forward.