Bucs defender dispatched again

Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has deemed Hlongwa not ready for first team action, and the club have since returned him to Real Kings in the second tier.

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The 22-year-old was a key figure for the Durban-based outfit last season, as he made 29 league appearances and captained the side in the latter stages of the campaign.

The Buccaneers recalled Hlongwa for their pre-season preparations, during which he featured in some of the club's friendly fixtures in Nelspruit, Zambia and Cape Town.

However, with the presence of captain Happy Jele, Gladwin Shitolo, Justice Chabalala and Ntsikelelo Nyauza, it would appear 'Micho' is content with his options in central defence.

The young centre-back has since welcomed his loan return to Kings, and fully understands the Bucs technical team's decision as he hopes to come back stronger and ready for the topflight next season.

"I understand why they said I must go back, and for me it's not a bad thing because I don't mind getting more experience and playing more games rather than just sitting there [at Pirates]," Hlongwa tells KickOff.com.

"I played in pre-season and it was great experience, and the coaches did give me feedback. They said they were very impressed and that I'm one for the future, so instead of putting pressure on me I'll go on loan again to get a few more games under my belt."

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After narrowly missing out on a promotional play-off spot last season, as they finished four points adrift of third-placed Jomo Cosmos, Hlonga has now set his sights on helping Kings improve in their bid for a top-three berth.

"I'm excited to be back. Hopefully we can go on and fight for promotion again, and I really want to leave a mark so that I can go back to Pirates on a high," he concludes.

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