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Tyson says he will let Jele lift trophy if victorious in MTN8 final

Thulani Hlatshwayo

Despite skippering Orlando Pirates in almost every game so far this season, Thulani Hlatswayo says he will let club captain Happy Jele lift the trophy if the are victorious in Saturday’s MTN8 final against Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Bucs face Bloem Celtic in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday (6pm) looking to end a 6-year trophy drought.

However, having skippered the side in seven of their nine matches in all tournaments this season, while Jele has donned the armband on two occasions (against Stellenbosch in October and against Celtic last month) begging the question of who would lift the trophy if the bucs are victorious.

“We all know ... everyone knows that Happy is the club captain. He’s the one who leads us. For me personally, I would allow him [to lift the trophy] and I will be OK with it for him and me to lift the trophy,’’ said Hlatshwayo yesterday.

“Obviously, as a player I’d draw inspiration from the very same MTN8 final that we played against Sundowns and won it [3-0 at Mbombela Stadium in October 2016]. A team that starts the season well by winning the MTN8 gets that momentum to do well throughout the season ... that’s what we want to do,’’ said Hlatshwayo, the 30-year-old Bafana skipper.

As a child growing up in Soweto, he dreamt about winning trophies with his local club. Hlatshwayo sees the MTN8 as a perfect opportunity to start realising his dream.

“Obviously, joining the team I grew up supporting as a youngster from Soweto is a success. I came to Pirates to succeed. When I was young I wanted to play for this team and win cups. I feel I have the opportunity to take the first step by winning the MTN8,’’ said Tyson.