Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Helman Mkhalele has urged skipper Happy Jele and new defender Thulani Hlatshwayo to prioritize a professional approach and not bank on their friendship to forge a partnership.
The Buccaneers announced the signing of the ex-Bidvest Wits skipper on Monday, and the retired midfielder also hailed the signing of winger Deon Hotto, saying he will boost the attacking options.
‘Midnight Express’ also explained why the experienced centre-backs can't afford to focus on their partnership alone, because coach Josef Zinnbauer can still decide on a different partnership at the back.
“You know I don’t think Tyson and Happy must bank on their friendship in that position. Yes, it is a plus [to be friends] but what should come first is to ensure they are professionals in going about their business,” Mkhalele told Goal.
“They just have to work hard if they will be partnering together because it all depends on the coach at the end of the day. If the coach feels any other player can do better when playing with Hlatshwayo or Jele then that’s something different and that can affect their friendship.
“I think professionalism should come first before being friends. If they are close to each other, that’s good, understanding each other is good but what’s important is to deliver.
“They still need to understand other players because they are not the only to centre-backs at Pirates. If one of them doesn’t play, they will still need to get along with the other defenders. Work is not about friendship.”
Following huge speculation on the duo’s reported moves to Mayfair, the former Bafana Bafana star looked at what the former Clever Boys players will bring to the club.
“I think these are two good signings because the will bring quality to Pirates. Tyson will bring stability at the back and Hotto will cement the attacking options,” he added.
“Some of the failures at Pirates can be attributed to lack of stability at the back. Thulani brings exceptional quality and lots of experience as Bafana Bafana skipper.
“He has international experience after playing for Wits in Africa and playing for the national team. These things will come in handy for the club.
“We know Hotto’s quality on the wings or upfront, he comes in handy as well to boost the firepower. He is an international player and these are the two good acquisitions.
“Let’s just hope they will adapt as soon as possible because this is a new challenge for them.”