Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) coach Dylan Kerr has revealed the shocking news that goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo will call time on his football career at the end of the season due to an eye injury.
The former Bafana Bafana international and Orlando Pirates shot stopper, who is only 30-years-old, a relatively young age for a goalkeeper, was involved in a freak training ground incident.
A ball struck the 'keeper hard in his face, leaving Mhlongo partially blind, and after visiting an eye specialist, it was advised by the doctors that he retired sooner rather than later.
Mhlongo, who missed out on the opportunity to play in TTM's Nedbank Cup final win over Chippa United, gave an awe-inspiring speech to his team-mates, which, according to Kerr, motivated his TTM team-mates to edge the Chilli Boys in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"Let me give special mention to Brighton Mhlongo, who is going to have to retire at the end of this season because of his eye injury," Kerr said in a post-match press conference.
"He made a speech to the players today, which I thought optimise the character and the togetherness of the team. He is not going to go unnoticed because it broke his heart today to stand in front of his team-mates, knowing that he is never going to play football again.
"He made a very poignant speech today, and I think that went a long way for them to perform the way they did in today's Nedbank Cup final."
Mhlongo amassed more than 80 appearances in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for the Buccaneers, Bidvest Wits, Chippa and TTM since making his debut nearly a decade ago.