German tactician Josef Zinnbauer handed the captain’s armband to Thulani Hlatshwayo as Orlando Pirates hosted a stubborn Cape Town City outfit in the MTN8 quarterfinals on Saturday evening at Orlando Stadium.
In the absence of regular captain Happy Jele, who was dropped to the bench, Bafana Bafana skipper Hlatshwayo wore the captain’s armband despite being a new signing.
Hlatshwayo made his debut for Pirates along with goalscorer Terrence Dzvukamanja and Deon Hotto as they joined the Soweto giants from now-defunct Bidvest Wits as well as Wayde Jooste‚ who came from the also-defunct Highlands Park.
The Buccaneers head coach Zinnbauer says Hlatshwayo was made captain due to his presence, experience and leadership qualities.
“Happy Jele is normally the club captain and when Happy is not in the game, then it is Tyson who will lead the team,” said the German mentor.
“Tyson is a national team player, captain of Bafana Bafana, he has the quality for this [to be a leader]. Happy as well, [has the quality]. We have a lot of good players that can lead the team, wear the captain’s armband.
“But most of the time it is not important which guy has the qualities to lead the squad or has the armband.
“We have in the team Happy and Tyson maybe ‘Siki’ [Ntsikelelo Nyauza] or other players. They are in a close circle and manage this very well. It’s not a problem for Happy‚ it’s not a problem for Tyson‚ it’s not a problem for the squad,” added Zinnbauer.
Zinnbauer went on to state that he wasn’t thrilled that his men failed to convert more of the chances they created over the weekend in their first match of the new campaign.
“Three weeks is not enough time to get the system into the team. We have a lot of new players,” he said.
“The new players were not in the training sessions. Only one week together. And then you see the last step or moment is not hundred per cent.”
The Soweto giants will start their 2020/21 DStv Premiership season away to AmaZulu at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday evening.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
All pictures courtesy of Orlando Pirates