How loyal Orlando Pirates’ Jele inspires Bidvest Wits skipper Hlatshwayo

Bidvest Wits skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo says he’s delighted when he looks back at his Premier Soccer League (PSL) career and that the club has treated him very well.

Having launched his professional career with Ajax Cape Town in 2009, ‘Tyson’ is one of the few current players who have more than a decade's experience in the top-flight.

Speaking about loyalty after spending six seasons with the Clever Boys, Hlatshwayo revealed why he is inspired by his Orlando Pirates counterpart Happy Jele, who has spent more than 10 years with the Soweto giants.

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"It’s been over a decade playing in the PSL when you look back, you ask yourself, how did I get through with the team?” Hlatshwayo told FARPost.

“You realize loyalty gives you stability, and the teams we play for can see loyalty and when you give your best, all the rewards then follow. Wits have rewarded me over the years.

“Happy has respected the game and his club [Orlando Pirates]. You’ll go very far when you respect the game and the club you play for and that’s exactly what I want to emulate.”

Although media reports always surface that the Soweto-born player is set to move to Houghton-based outfit, the 30-year-old Bafana Bafana skipper signed an improved three-year deal in August last year, which will keep him at the club until 2022.

In addition, Jele is yet to lift a trophy as Pirates skipper and Hlatshwayo recently expressed hope that the veteran centre-back will one day hoist a trophy aloft.

The former Urban Warriors defender also revealed his ambitions to play in the Soweto derby but renewing his contract with the Braamfontein-based club giants has put doubts on a move to the former African champions.

On the other hand, the burly defender has a PSL, Telkom Knockout, and MTN8 Cup gold medals with coach Gavin Hunt’s troops, and they are currently sixth on the log with 38 points from 21 games so far.

As the 2019/20 PSL campaign remains suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the South African international will look to guide the Students to challenge log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who sit at the summit.

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