Former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates strongman, Benson Mhlongo has shunned the cushy job as The Buccaneers second in command to hone youngsters at National First Division (NFD) rookies TS Sporting as head coach.
According to the former defender, he was head hunted by the club and accepted the job at the Mpumalanga outfit to help the young players at the club progress and in the process to gain experience in coaching professional football.
“I just want to help these boys to play football and I’m at a good platform because I have good support in the team. I have the support of the chairman and the staff, and I have young boys who are eager to progress. I think the choice was right, I am not regretting. I am just enjoying myself,” Mhlongo says.
Mhlongo joined the outfit at the end of July and hit the ground running just in time for the opening of the league.
Having lost his first match against fellow first timers Maccabi FC and, beating Royal Eagles at home and drawing away to Jomo Cosmos, Mhlongo has fired warning shots and has stamped his presence in the NFD in the first three games.
“So far these boys have been working with me and I’m happy to have such a talented and respectful group. There is absolutely nothing I can ask for all I can do is thank God for giving me a chance to work with this group of players,” the former defensive midfielder said.
However, Mhlongo has not set his sight on top flight football of the Premier Soccer League as yet as he believes his job is to make his players play good football.
“I’m not interested as yet in the quality of the players. It’s my job to make the players to play good football and get them to improve from where they are to become better than what they are.
“I want these boys to play and be candidates to play for the country. If they represent the country then I would have improved their football and going nearer to the PSL will be automatic,” he said.
Former Bafana Bafana defensive midfielder Mhlongo joined Pirates as an assistant in November 2016‚ soon after Mushin Ertugral had dramatically left Bucs as head coach seven matches into the 2016- 17 seasons.
“I prayed to God to guide me and I prayed to him to make me understand my purpose on earth. What I expect from every South African is for them to know that my interest is to help another human being. Do not label Benson Mhlongo with material things. You should have learnt by now through my journey that everywhere I am it’s about helping another human being. So I am here to help the kids. If we don’t come here, then who must come here?”