Orlando Pirates coach Sredojevic: Why would anyone not want Hlatshwayo?
Orlando Pirates boss Milutin Sredojevic has said that every coach in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) would not hesitate to have Bidvest Wits captain and defender Thulani Hlatshwayo in their defensive ranks.
Sredojevic said he would not think twice if the Bafana Bafana captain was willing to leave Wits and the club open to let him go.
Speculation linking Hlatshwayo to Bucs gains momentum with each passing day and will kick into overdrive by the time the transfer window closes at the end of this month.
“First of all there is no [club] coach in this country who will not want to have the captain of Bafana Bafana‚” Sredojevic said.
The Serbian coach was speaking on the sidelines of the MTN8 media briefing in Parktown ahead of his side’s quarterfinal clash against Highlands Park at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is at 6pm.
Sredojevic described the Bafana captain as a “person that brings personality and performance” to any team.
“But in the same moment‚ until things happen‚ I have no right to go in that direction‚” Sredojevic said.
“Mine is to coach in the field and to believe in the players we are having at present‚ and to not comment on anything in that regard.”
Pirates are fairly covered in central defence but Sredojevic admitted he would jump at the opportunity to snap up a defender of Hlatshwayo’s class.
“You know how I together with technical team believe in the players we have at present. However if we succeed to get a centreback it will always be welcome because everyone will welcome quality‚” Sredojevic said.
Eyebrows were raised in Polokwane on Wednesday this week when Hlatshwayo revealed in a post-match interview after Wits beat Polokwane City 1-0 that he is open for a new challenge away from the Clever Boys.
But his coach‚ Gavin Hunt‚ moved swiftly a day later to stress that‚ as far as he and Wits are concerned‚ the Bafana captain is going nowhere.
“He’s a player who has come a long way with us‚ from Ajax Cape Town‚ being an average right-back‚ to being the national team centreback and the captain. So‚ we want to keep him‚” Hunt said.