After landing Thabo Matlaba who recently parted ways with Black Leopards, Swallows FC chairman David Mogashoa has lauded the capture of ‘Festival’ and has hit back at detractors who suggest they are signing ‘old’ players.
The 32-year-old former Orlando Pirates captain is amongst 14 signings made by the newly-promoted birds, as they bolster their squad ahead of the DStv Premiership campaign.
Matlaba joins a host of veteran campaigners like Lebohang Mokoena and Vuyo Mere, who have played an integral part of Swallows’ promotion to the elite league, as they continue to show their longevity.
Speaking to the Siya crew, Mogashoa revealed how they managed to lure Matlaba, and how the team is hoping to blend his wealth of experience with their youthful team.
“You know Matlaba we were actually not even chasing him; I became aware of it when I was doing a telephonic interview with a radio station in Limpopo. Thabo was on the same show and they mentioned that he would be leaving Leopards and I immediately got interested because Thabo is a quality player. We want players who will come and add value in the PSL.
“I know people are saying we are signing old players, but you cannot say a person is old if he is 31, 32, or 33. I mean look at Cheeseboy and what he did for the team last season, that player’s legs are still allowing him to carry on. We want experience to blend in with the youngsters who will carry the team forward. We don’t just want a team infested with old people. It must be mixed because the young ones are the future,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Birds chairman is confident that his side can reignite the ‘original’ Soweto Derby, and believes the squad they have assembled is capable of finishing in the top eight this season.
"If you think about the original Soweto Derby we have got Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows, so what we want for Swallows and its faithful supporters, people who were supporting Swallows even when there was nothing to support only Panyaza Lesufi making a noise about Swallows. We want to make sure that we stay in the safe zone, which is in the top eight up, then we will compete from there. If we get anything competing from that level, we are happy and I am sure that our supporters will be happy too,” he concluded.
Click through the gallery for all the signings made by Swallows so far in this transfer window: