Benson Mhlongo signs two-year deal with Stars
SEASONED defender Benson Mhlongo is the first player in a potentially massive clear-out at Orlando Pirates after he joined Platinum Stars.
The former Bafana Bafana international agreed on a two-year deal with an option to renew for another season, Dikwena have confirmed.
The Buccaneers recently announced plans to reduce their huge squad to a manageable unit ahead of their pre-season camp, and Mhlongo appears to be the first of many set to leave the league champions.
The 31-year-old looked set for an early retirement as a horror knee injury two years ago left his career in doubt, leading to him missing the 2010 Fifa World Cup that was staged in the country.
He made a miraculous recovery after nine months, but featured minimally for Pirates as he found playing opportunities limited in a treble-winning team.
Having established himself as a sought-after defensive midfielder at BidVest Wits, Mhlongo moved to Mamelodi Sundowns in 2005 where he won back-to-back league championships.
Eager for a new challenge, Mhlongo joined Pirates in 2008, where he formed a core part of a team that was to win five successive knockout cups and back-to-back league titles.
Mhlongo was part of Bafana Bafana team at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana and having represented the senior national team on 37 occasions, was set to feature at the World Cup at home, before an injury put paid to that dream.