Mix of veterans and youngsters proves potent

Swallows prove they are no retirement home

Kamohelo Mahlatsi of Swallows FC celebrates goal during the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Swallows FC.
Kamohelo Mahlatsi of Swallows FC celebrates goal during the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Swallows FC.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Swallows coach Brandon Truter has hit back at the critics who called his team a retirement home.

Truter assembled a squad of young and experienced players for the DStv Premiership 2020-21 season but many expected them to fight for relegation.

Instead, the Soweto giants have defied the odds and are unbeaten and in second place on the log table with 22 points from 10 games.

The Birds held Orlando Pirates to a 1-1 draw in the Soweto derby at Orlando Stadium at the weekend. Ben Motshwari scored for the home side with five minutes remaining and Kamohelo Mahlatsi snatched a point from the jaws of defeat for Swallows three minutes into stoppage time.

The Birds passed an acid test that many thought they would fail in the original Soweto derby. “Our great run started in February 2020 and we continued from where we left off in the GladAfrica championship. I don’t want to sound like I am blowing my trumpet, but the technical team assembled a great team, and it eased the transition from the first division to the top-flight division. We were one of the strongest teams tactically in the first division,” he said.

The modest coach said he knew what he was doing when he went out to sign the vastly experienced players in his team and that he had silenced his critics. The likes of Thabo Matlaba, Sifiso Hlanti, Musa Nyatama, Vuyo Mere, Virgil Vries and Lebogang Mokoena have contributed to the team’s success.

“We got players that want to prove themselves and want to win. I remember signing a few of these players at the beginning of the season, and I read reports in the media that Swallows are a retirement home, but it is players that fit into the structure and know the culture of the team,” said Truter.

Swallows play against Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in their next league game on Saturday (5pm).Truter said he was not happy with his team’s performance but happy to take a point. “We suffered fatigue but worked hard to earn a point. We are looking forward to the next game,” he said.    ​

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