Thulani Hlatshwayo 'not going anywhere'

Bidvest Wits Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.
Bidvest Wits Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.

Bidvest Wits chief executive Jose Ferreira and head coach Gavin Hunt have come out swinging at the media for apparently pushing an agenda that seeks to see captain Thulani "Tyson" Hlatshwayo leave the club.

Ferreira sat alongside Hunt at the club's media briefing at their training base at Sturrock Park in Johannesburg on Friday where the Clever Boys unveiled 10 new signings to bolster the squad for the coming season.

Both uttered the word "disturbing" on numerous occasions when questions were asked about Hlatshwayo.

Ferreira declared that Hlatshwayo "is not going anywhere" despite persistent reports linking the defender with a move to Orlando Pirates.

"It is rumours and it is disturbing. There's seemingly quite a disturbing media drive around Tyson and we have this every season," said a seemingly irritated Ferreira.

"Where you guys [the media] get that information I don't know. Maybe it is because you need to write something.

"We have not received an offer from any club for Tyson. So when guys speculate like that around where he is going next, we as a club wonder where you guys get this kind of information.

"One would imagine that it is rumours and it fits the agendas of some portion of the media."

Hunt also weighed in on the matter and reiterated that he is not prepared to lose his captain, especially not to title rivals.

Hunt said Hlatshwayo still had a lot to offer the club and gushed over the "maturity" shown by the player since joining from Ajax Cape Town in June 2014.

"Tyson is not going anywhere. I certainly don't want to lose him. It has been a media drive and I don't know where it is coming from," said Hunt.

"It is disturbing, to be honest. But I don't worry about those kind of things. So there is nothing to it. He will be here [when we play our first match], he is the captain of the team."

Hlatshwayo and his wife have just welcomed a new baby and Hunt said parental duties are the only things occupying his captain's mind.

"His mental state is fine. He has got a new baby so he is more worried about the little one at the moment than moving clubs, that's for sure

"He is strong. He is OK. He is fine, you know. I have seen maturity in the boy since he has been here with us and he has been unbelievable."

Hlatshwayo, who is also captain of the national team and led Bafana Bafana with aplomb at the recent Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt, has been linked with Pirates, a club he has apparently wished to play for since his years growing up in Soweto.

Hunt suggested that if Hlatshwayo were to leave Wits it would not be for a local club.

"If he does go anywhere I think it will be a bigger and better move to somewhere else at a much higher level."

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