Hlanti ready to deal with huge expectations

Kaizer Chiefs’ new addition to the squad is defender Sifiso Hlanti, who finally teamed up with Amakhosi after having his initial move to the club at the beginning of the 2020-21 season put on ice. The much travelled and experienced defender is pleased to be at the club and looking ahead to fulfilling the many expectations and challenges that come with representing a team like Chiefs.  He is not shying away from the fact that there will be many tough battles ahead and is ready to take them head on.

When questioned about finally putting pen to paper last month for a contract with Chiefs he answered with a great deal of humility and respect, saying: “Being with the team is a great honour and privilege.”

The 2016-17 league winner with Bidvest Wits has long envisaged himself as a Chiefs player and is now focused on being a regular in coach Stuart Baxter’s squad.

“I am looking forward to seeing myself being part of the team as much as I can,” says Hlanti. “The mentality I have is positive. What matters the most for me is being a respectful person and knowing what the task of being in a team like Kaizer Chiefs is.”

The fact that he is now at a team where the expectations are high is not lost on Hlanti and he remains upbeat about what lies ahead.

“Kaizer Chiefs is a big brand – we all know, and I respect that,” enthuses Hlanti. “As a footballer, I am positive about everything and I know there will be a lot of challenges and expectation but what matters the most is how I react and respond.”

The well-respected defender has travelled around the country to a number of clubs in the DStv Premiership since first appearing on the scene as a 21-year-old with Golden Arrows around a decade ago. The left-back has become a seasoned professional who has both the physical and mental strength to do well with Chiefs.

“I always have a positive mentality and I hope this season is going to be far better than the previous one for us.  I know that the guys didn’t manage to get what they were looking last season, but they did try to do what they best given the circumstances, which included reaching the Champions League final.  I am delighted I am here with the team and I also want to thank the management, the coaches and the players for welcoming me with warm hands. It’s important to not forget all the supporters who’ve been with the Chiefs through thick and thin.”

Hlanti in signing off had the following message for the fans: “We know what it takes to be successful and we are aware of the expectations that come with being in this team. We also know there are lots of challenges but once you respond with a positive mentality you can achieve a lot.  We understand that it is all about our supporters being happy. As players, we need to show hunger and reward them by winning because we know how much they love Chiefs.”

The former AmaZulu, Arrows, Wits and Swallows defender who has also won the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout Cup in 2016-17 and 2017-18 is looking forward to this new chapter in his life that will see him representing Amakhosi in the 2021/22 season.