Defender warned to fight for starting berth

S’fiso Hlanti flies into Swallows' nest

Neville Khoza Journalist
Sfiso Hlanti hopes to soar with the beautiful Birds.
Sfiso Hlanti hopes to soar with the beautiful Birds.
Image: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

New Swallows FC signing S’fiso Hlanti has been warned that he will have to fight to earn a place at the club despite coming with a wealth of experience.

Hlanti completed his move to Swallows yesterday, signing a one-year deal after training with Kaizer Chiefs for over a month.

Swallows coach Brandon Truter said even though he is happy with the addition of Hlanti, he is not guaranteed a place at the club as he has to work hard for it.

“It is a good addition to the squad. I’m happy to have Hlanti. He brings a lot of experience to the team, and it is a good signing for us,” Truter told Sowetan yesterday.

“We also have a young boy [Mthokozisi] Shwabule in the left-back position. He is our player, so we have to be mindful to give him as much game time as possible. He is for the future. S’fiso comes with a wealth of experience, having played for big clubs as well.

“He is Bafana Bafana international, so I’m sure he will guide Shwabule where he can. But definitely, the starting place in the team is hard to come by, so Sifiso will have to come to the party.”

Truter added that it would take time for Hlanti before he is considered for matches as he has to adapt to the club first. "His experience will help us, but also, I have to be mindful and think about playing structure as well. It is different from other teams to where S'ifiso has played,” Truter said. “It is how quickly he adapts to the technical changes at Swallows that will get him into the team.”

Meanwhile, following their 1-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic in their last match, Swallows will be aiming for two wins out of two when they visit Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) at Thohoyandou Stadium tonight (7.30pm).

“It is going to be a tough game considering their style of play and the results they got against Mamelodi Sundowns after playing to a goalless draw. And seeing the way they played in the second half against SuperSport United as well, they are a team who are on the up. But it will be a tough game for us, and we also have to be mindful of the conditions as well," Truter said.

“We are hoping to make it two wins out of two, but away game conditions, travelling and all that come to mind. We will do our best... the worst thing we will want to come away with from Thohoyandou is a draw.”

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