Highlands entrench their non-selling status

Peter Shalulile is one of Highlands Park's hot properties.
Peter Shalulile is one of Highlands Park's hot properties.
Image: BackpagePix

Unlike some clubs of their stature who see no problem in cashing in on their best players, Highlands Park are gradually building a reputation as a non-selling club.

Teams who are arguably of their calibre such as Cape Town City and AmaZulu, among others, have in recent seasons sold their star players like Aubrey Ngoma and Emiliano Tade to Sundowns.

Just last season, Highlands managed to hold onto their hard-nosed midfielder Mothobi Mvala, whose exploits saw fellow PSL Nemesis hankering for his signature, but the Tembisa club convinced the Bafana workaholic to stay put.

Highlands have another hot property in Peter Shalulile, who tops the scoring charts with eight league goals. Big guns in Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are believed to have earmarked the Namibian for the January transfer-window.

However, Highlands chairperson Brad Kaftel has emphasised the club won't budge on their stance of not selling their players to local clubs, unless it's offers they can't refuse.

"We are not looking to sell our best players. We want to keep our best players, keep strengthening the team. You could say well . 'would you ever sell your best players'? I'd say well . it would have to be an offer we couldn't refuse."

Asked if he'd take an offer in a region of R10m for one of his star players, the Highlands boss reasoned: "It would take even more than that, R10-million may sound as a lot but in a PSL club that can only pay your expenses for two months," said Kaftel. "It may sound a lot of money to a man on the street. When you are running a business like a club you spend that in less than three months, so you sell your best player and in three months the money is gone, hence I'd rather have that player for the next five seasons."

He also attributed their aptitude to fend off interest in their stars from fellow rivals to the family environment at the club.

"We are building a team. A player like Shalulile has been with us for a few years . it's his fourth season with us. We see players as family, I WhatsApp him after the game and we're close, I see him as my adopted son, same with Mvala, same with a boy like Luckyboy Mokoena."

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