Matsatsantsa capture highly rated Bafana Bafana defenderThomas Kwenaite
By Andile Dladla & Mandla Dladla
Supersport United have lost several key members that catapulted the club to finish the season third on the DStv Championship but have gone on an impressive signing spree that included Bafana Bafana centre-back Siyanda Xulu who was unveiled as their latest addition.
The former Rostov, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Turan-Tovuz IK defender Xulu who hails from Kwa Mashu has committed to a two-year deal with an option for an extension, marking a significant move in his career. Xulu’s return to the Dstv Premiership League and his opportunity to play on home turf in South Africa have filled him with a sense of gratitude and excitement.
“I feel a great sense of gratitude being able to get an opportunity to make my way back into the Dstv Premiership League and play at home here in South Africa. Stability is something that I desired at this stage in my career more than anything. We all know that retirement is not far away for a player, and a club like Supersport has awarded me the chance I needed at this time and point. So, I’m very excited about joining the team,” Xulu expressed when asked about his feelings regarding the new chapter in his career.
For Xulu, joining Supersport United is not just about individual performance but also about being part of a cohesive team. He emphasized that the team’s goals and objectives take precedence, and he is determined to contribute wherever needed. The defender sees himself as a key player in assisting the team with his experience and skills while also relying on the support of his new teammates to adapt quickly to the coach’s tactics.
Premiership-winning coach Gavin Hunt also shared his thoughts on the signing, expressing his enthusiasm for having a player of Xulu’s caliber on the team. Hunt believes that Xulu’s position as a left center back will be instrumental in filling the void left by the departure of Thathoyaone Ditlokwe to Kaizer Chiefs. The experience and passion that Xulu brings to the team align with the coach’s vision for building a strong defensive line.
“Football wise, I certainly think he is a tough, quick, and skillful defender with a great ability to play out from the back. As a coach, I prioritize defenders, and I believe his strength in one-on-one situations, maintaining a high line, and displaying good character will greatly benefit our back line,” praised Hunt.
Moreover, Xulu’s presence in the Bafana Bafana national team adds further positivity to Supersport United’s defense, as he brings valuable experience and exposure to the international level.
With players like Thulani Hlatswayo and Siyanda Xulu, Supersport United now boasts a formidable defensive lineup. The combination of experienced players and promising talents is expected to fortify the team and provide the necessary depth to handle the challenges of a demanding schedule that includes league fixtures, cup competitions, suspensions, and injuries
As the new season approaches, fans can anticipate an even stronger Supersport United, ready to compete fiercely and pursue their objectives on the field. With Xulu’s determination to contribute his best and Coach Gavin Hunt’s guidance, the team is poised to make a significant impact in the Dstv Premiership and beyond.
In addition, United would be campaigning in the CAF Confederation Cup where they have received a bye in the preliminary round but would face the winner between Botswana’s Gaborone United against Madagascar’s Elgeco Plus.