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MBABANE – On his day, his goal-scoring instincts would shame a lion that has gone for days without food.

That is the quality of now in-demand lanky goal-poacher Sandile Hlatjwako, who has sparked a ‘bidding war’ involving a number of teams over his services. This was after news broke that Mbabane Swallows, a team he has served loyally and successfully for consecutive years, had shown him the exit door under unclear circumstances. The player was reportedly served with a letter informing him of the team’s decision not to retain his services over a week ago, stunning a section of its followers. Hlatjwako has always been regarded as one of Swallows’ most dependable strikers in recent seasons and has hardly disappointed with match-winning displays where it mattered the most for the red and white glamour giants. The 33-year-old striker has received a handful of Sihlangu call-ups and was one of the Swallows’ impact strikers during the successful CAF Champions League campaign where the capital city giants came close to reaching the knockout stages over two years ago.


Highlanders have not hidden their interest in the prolific striker and, according to classified information gathered yesterday, they have even tabled an offer of E35 000 signing-on fee and a monthly salary of E10 000 in a reported one-year deal. Sources close to the player have confided that he is tempted by the Highlanders offer. It is also interesting to note that Swallows have reportedly suffered a change of heart in their initial decision to ‘discard’ the player. Sources closer to the team have revealed that the decision to put the striker on the market was not unanimous as some senior officials were apparently against it.“When it came out that Sandile has been released and Highlanders were in the forefront in the race to sign him, it did not sit nicely with one particular senior Swallows’ official (known to this publication) who immediately alerted the player that he was not part of the decision to release him. The official in question made it clear that he was not aware of the letter said to have been given to the player and actually gave Sandile another one nullifying the first one,” the source said.

It has further been gathered that the Swallows’ official in question made it clear to close friends that nothing would hurt his feelings more than to see Hlatjwako joining their sworn rivals, hence he took it upon himself to stop the player from leaving. “I would not be surprised to see Sandile staying for another season at Swallows because he respects the official who is standing against the decision to release him. He is the same official that brought the player to Swallows some years back and that could give Swallows the edge now but it all depends on what the player wants at the end of it all,” the source added.


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