Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Nhlanhla Kubheka believes Erick Mathoho has been retained in the squad to mentor some of the younger players.
Lately, the 32-year-old has been inconsistent for Amakhosi and his last involvement for the Soweto heavyweights was on March 19 in the Premier Soccer League match against Golden Arrows.
His howler allowed Knox Mutizwa to score the lone goal of the match at the FNB Stadium.
In preparations for the new season, the team has already allowed senior players like Lazarous Kambole, Bernard Parker and Daniel Cardoso to leave. Youngsters like Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Ashley du Preez and George Matlou have been brought in.
Kubheka suggests Mathoho has been left in the team to help those younger players fit in and learn the ropes at Amakhosi.
"You must keep those players who you think are influential in terms of guiding the youngsters and I think Mathoho fits that profile," the now 43-year-old said as quoted by Sowetan.
"Every team needs one or two senior players even though they might not play but their presence can do wonders in the camp.
"Mathoho is one of few senior guys left now, so maybe his role will be more of being a mentor to the young ones and the new ones."
Despite Kubheka admitting Mathoho has not played well of late, he insists the centre-back is not a bad player and it is just that he lost his form.
"He has been struggling with consistency for the last few seasons," he added.
"Last season, he was in and out of the team but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a loser or a bad player because it is a been a matter of losing form for him."
In the concluded 2021/22 season, Mathoho played 18 PSL matches for Chiefs and scored one goal.
The experienced defender joined Amakhosi from Bloemfontein Celtic back in 2012 and has been a regular for the Soweto-based outfit over the last decade.