Why Hlanti was never worried about his Chiefs future despite injury
“I was never worried about that [being released by Chiefs]," says Hlanti.
Kaizer Chiefs defender Sifiso Hlanti speaking to the media this week (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Sifiso Hlanti is a confident player and brings that with him to whichever team he plays for and that showed in Kaizer Chiefs last game.
The Newcastle-born defender played his first game in eight months in Chiefs’ win over Stellenbosch FC in the MTN8 last weekend.
“It was not good at all being on the sidelines for such a long time,” said Hlanti this week. “It was a struggle, I will be honest with you, it was so sad.
“I love football and when such things (injuries) happen you feel different. At the same time it was up to me how I dealt with such, and I am grateful that I am back.”
Hlanti suffered a long term injury just a few months after he had signed for Chiefs from Swallows FC. And when Amakhosi reshuffled the pack at the end of last season and released some players, he was expected to be among those. But he survived it.
“I was never worried about that [being released by Chiefs]. Those are normal things in football. You cannot run away from them.
“You play for a certain team, and the next moment you are either not playing anymore or you are shipped off to another.
“That makes us grow and realise that football is about how committed you are while you are at that team,” said Hlanti.
Chiefs recently signed the experienced former Cape Town City defender Edmilson Dove who plays in the same position as Hlanti.
“I am a strong person and I like challenges. I like to be in a situation where there is a challenge. I took it positively, the more the team brings quality players shows that there will be a lot of positives that we need to take as players.
“There was nothing much, I have been in the game for a long time. I have the mental strength and I am always positive.
“There are always challenges in football and how you survive depends on how you approach and deal with the challenges.”
Hlanti is expected to make his second appearance of the season for Chiefs when they meet his former team AmaZulu FC in a DStv Premiership game at FNB Stadium at 5.30pm on Saturday.
“Our last game was a cup game and the next one is a league game. We cannot get stuck in the past and need to focus on the next game.
“The boys are looking good, the mentality is great and we are all on the same page and we are positive. We want to see ourselves progressing and achieving things,” said Hlanti.
“It has been a long time since the club won a cup. But since the team has brought on new faces, the energy is there, and we are looking forward to making things happen. It will not be easy because we need to gel and make sure we put our best effort.
“AmaZulu are in good shape. They are doing well and we must note that. But we also have good players who are mentally strong and want to make things happen,” he added.