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Hlanti – It Was Like A Gunshot

Kaizer Chiefs defender S’fiso Hlanti has detailed the mental journey he underwent after suffering a serious injury which was described as sounding like a ‘gunshot’ back in November 2021.

Hlanti, 32, made his first appearance for Chiefs in the MTN8 quarter-final win over Stellenbosch last week after more than seven months out since he ruptured his Achilles tendon during training.

The South Africa international left-back made a good account of himself in the position that has plagued Amakhosi for quite some and he admits he’s just thrilled to be back on the pitch again.

“It was a great feeling, I won’t lie, after being out for such a long time, six to seven months, so I think it was an honour with regards to being back in the game. It was an exciting moment and I was super happy.” Hlanti said recently at Naturena Village.

“I would say it was a long journey for me, I never thought I’d be out for long, it was a serious injury that made me someone that was going to take it with a positive attitude. The mental strength that I had, that’s brought me back into the game in the space of time.

“But the attitude is what matters the most, I appreciate the person that I am and to be here at Kaizer Chiefs. Coming to football itself you know how to deal with difficult times and it’s something nobody can take away from me – not that I’m bigger than the game or team itself, but my personality and the way I approach things.”

With Hlanti set to make only his 10th appearance since joining the club from Swallows in July 2021, he went on to laud the support of his teammates during his recovery period.

“I feel when you go down to the deep end, you need to stand up and face challenges, it happened here in training when I got injured. It wasn’t easy but it was all up to me how to react and respond to it.”

“It was like a gunshot. I think everyone in the team, makes me realise you need to take things positively. The support that they gave me was amazing and I managed to stand up again, I played against Stellenbosch.”

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Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.