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‘Why Orlando Pirates senior players haven’t accepted captain Hlatshwayo’ – Lekgwathi

The former Bafana Bafana defender alleges Tyson has not enjoyed the required support from the Bucs dressing room yet

Former South Africa defender Lucky Lekgwathi has claimed senior players at Orlando Pirates have not supported under-fire captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.

Lekgwathi has stated some players feel the skipper – famously known as ‘Tyson’, who joined from Bidvest Wits and was given the armband in his first season with Bucs – was too new to be handed the captaincy roles.

“The problem is that if you wear the arm belt, you are the captain; you must take all the responsibility,” Lekgwathi told News 24.

“Even other senior players, they don’t support you, but all these guys are supposed to support you.

“But now, if I look at Pirates, my team, if someone is the captain, they don’t give him that support. So, I think Tyson is new now, and some guys are thinking, “No, he’s new, so he can’t just come in and be the captain.”

Lekgwathi had a successful time with Pirates as he lifted a treble at one point over six years ago and has drawn parallels between his stint and Hlatshwayo’s.

“For me, I was lucky because of the guys that I found in this team; they helped me. But most of the senior players aren’t playing their role in supporting Tyson,” he said.

“I’m so happy for him, yes, football is a game of mistakes, and he makes mistakes, but you make mistakes to rectify them, and he’s working hard on that.”

Due to numerous mistakes on the pitch, Hlatshwayo missed a number of games towards the end of the Premier Soccer League season. He was also not considered for the Bafana Bafana friendly against Uganda on Thursday as the hosts depended on less experienced centre-backs.

“I think the guy has done well, it’s just those smaller mistakes, but he gave us a trophy,” said Lekgwathi, who enjoyed 14 caps for Bafana between 2002 and 2005.

“Today we are bragging that we are the champions of MTN8, and he is one of the guys who played a big role in winning that trophy. 

“Yes, a team is not only one player… [but a collective], but I think he played a big role in that. So, the pressure at Pirates is always high and wearing that number 14; people expect miracles from him. So, he must just work hard and encourage the players to be together; they must support him.”



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