|Thulani Hlatshwayo © Gallo Images
Ajax Cape Town defender Thulani Hlatshwayo is calling upon his team-mates to put up a spirited showing against Manchester United at the Cape Town stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Soweto-born 22-year-old is a Red Devils supporter, and is looking forward to one of the biggest moments of his fledgling career.
“I’m a big fan of Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Some of those players are not in South Africa, but there are still lots of big names.
“Its an amazing opportunity for us. I’ve always been a Manchester United supporter, and I can’t wait to shake hands and rub shoulders with some of the players.
“Training has been great this week. We have been doing some team building exercises and welcoming into the side some of the new players – everyone can’t wait for Saturday,” he told PSL.co.za.
On Wednesday night Sir Alex Ferguson’s men edged out Usuthu 1-0, giving the Urban Warriors a glimpse of what they are up against.
“I personally watched the match against AmaZulu and I’m sure all my team-mates did as well. So we know what to expect. But we also think it will be a different game because we are a different side to AmaZulu.
“Manchester United have some exciting young players who are hungry to show themselves, so that adds intensity to the game. United don’t kick the ball in the air much at all. They keep the ball, they knock it around effectively and keep things simple.
“For us, its important we play as a team, if we do that, we’ll give Manchester United a run for their money,” Hlatshwayo said.
The powerfully built defender, who can play in the middle or on the right, was also taking notes regarding potential opponents for Saturday.
“I’m not sure where (in defence) I will be playing. But I was watching the Manchester left back and left wing against AmaZulu, to see how they overlap down the flank.
“But its important to also play my own game – go on some runs, give them something to think about and some defending to do.”