Former Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi has given his thoughts on the man who inherited his Bucs jersey, Thulani Hlatshwayo, amid grumbles from the club’s fans regarding some of his performances this season.
‘Tyson’ was roped in as Pirates’ marquee signing at the start of the season and given the armband in the absence of club captain Happy Jele. The 31-year-old brought about much-needed stability to the Pirates defence, guiding the Buccaneers to their first trophy in seven years in the form of the MTN8.
However, as the season progressed, the Bafana Bafana skipper came under the spotlight as a few individual errors proved costly to the team with fans airing their displeasure with his performances – this also saw him dropped from the Pirates starting XI towards the end of the campaign.
Lekgwathi, who knows all about the pressure at Pirates, was the exemplary captain who helped guide the Sea Robbers to their famous double-treble almost a decade ago.
Speaking exclusively to the Siya crew, ‘Phinda Mzala’ has weighed in on Hlatshwayo’s situation at the club.
“The problem is that if you wear the arm belt, you are the captain, you must take all the responsibility. Even other senior players, they don’t support you, but all these guys are supposed to support you. But now if I look at Pirates my team, if someone is the captain, they don’t give him that support. So I think like now, Tyson is new and some guys feel like no, he is new so he can’t just come and be the captain,” Lekgwathi explained.
“For me, I was lucky because of the guys that I found in this team, they helped me. But most of the senior players aren’t playing their role of supporting Tyson. I’m so happy for him, yes, football is a game of mistakes, and he makes mistakes, but you make mistakes to rectify them and he’s working hard on that.”
“I think the guy has done well, it’s just those smaller-nyana mistakes, but he gave us a trophy. Today we are bragging that we are the champions of MTN8, and he is one of the guys who played a big role of winning that trophy. Yes, a team is not only one player... (but a collective) but I think he played a big role in that. So the pressure at Pirates is always high and wearing that number 14, people expect miracles from him. So he must just work hard and encourage the players to be together, they must support him,” he concluded.
Lekgwathi features in Soccer Laduma edition 1227 where he also discusses:
- his latest business ventures
- why he is not working for Pirates
- what the club needs to do to win more trophies
Get your latest copy of Soccer Laduma available in stores now!
Click through the gallery to see players you may have forgotten played for Pirates: