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Hunt reveals he told Baxter to consider Hlatshwayo as the next Bafana captain

By Marc Strydom | 2017-06-01 17:10:32.0

Thulani Hlatshwayo would be the perfect captain and player to build Bafana Bafana around‚ says Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt‚ and he has told new South Africa coach Stuart Baxter as much.

Centreback Hlatshwayo has just had an outstanding season – putting himself forward as a candidate for Absa Premiership player of the season – captaining Wits to their first league title in 95 years under Hunt.

The Wits coach said the no holds barred defender would make an ideal Bafana captain as Baxter begins his second tenure with the national team with a tough first fixture in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria in Uyo on June 10.

“Well I think if you’re going to go into a new era‚ new dawn‚ new feel‚ and you want to build your team‚ I mean he (Hlatshwayo) is the perfect guy to build your team around‚” Hunt said.

“I told Stuart that. If you want to build your team‚ he’s not going to be bashing down doors and screaming and shouting. But he’s going to lead with endeavour‚ and his professionalism on and off the field.

“But Stuart’s going to make a decision once he gets into camp and works with the players for a week.

“There are a few candidates‚ which is good. You need a few candidates. You want the team to work by itself. You want a lot of captains there.

“But‚ ja‚ if Stuart’s looking to go forward‚ (Hlatshwayo is a) good option.”

Hunt discouraged – and said he did not believe Baxter would take that route – the policy of previous coach Shakes Mashaba rotating the Bafana captaincy.

“For me that can’t work‚ hey. That can never work‚” he said.

“Obviously if there are injuries you have to. But you need to put your hat with somebody and go with somebody‚ and go feel it. And build your team around them for the next three or four years‚ or until the next campaign‚ at least.

“I’m sure Stuart will do that.”

Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune and Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Hlompo Kekana are other leading candidates to earn Baxter’s Bafana captaincy. - TMG Digital/TMG Sport