Johannesburg - Anele Ngcongca has welcomed Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba's decision to include three members of the South Africa under-20 team in his squad for the senior national team’s trip to Sudan.
Mashaba called-up Amajita skipper Ayabulela Magqwaka, Rivaldo Coetzee and Dumisani Msibi for Bafana’s opening 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against the Falcons of Jediane on Friday, before returning home to take on Nigeria, in Cape Town on September 10.
On Sunday, Amajita successfully sealed their participation in the Youth Championships in Cameroon next year and Bafana international Ngcongca felt the youngsters brought positive energy into the squad.
"Amajita have given us hope and belief. If they can do it, we can also get this qualification," Ngcongca said on Monday.
"The guys have that feeling and it’s great that the coach brought some players from Amajita so that they can give us that boost that we need."
The defender, who plays for Belgian club KRC Genk, said the team has right balance between youth and experience.
"It’s not a matter of young or old. They (young players) know what it takes to win the games and I think it’s a positive thing that the coach did."
Particularly pleasing for Ngcongca was the inclusion of Magqwaka. The pair grew up in the same neighbourhood outside Cape Town and know each other well.
"I was so proud to see Aya because I've known him since he was young. I used to play for his father’s team in Gugulethu and I was coached by his father," he said.
"I’m proud of what he has achieved in leading the nation in the under-20s and he just has to take it and work hard and become a better person."
Quizzed about Bafana's chances of qualifying for the 2015 Afcon tournament in Morocco, the 26-year-old believed the team can have no excuses.
Bafana last qualified for a major tournament was for the Afcon in 2008.
Despite appearing at the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Afcon 2013 and the 2014 African Nations Championship, the team qualified automatically by virtue of being hosts.
"We haven’t qualified for quite a long time. We need to do it now, the time of talking is finished, it’s time to give it our all and work for the country and bring the joy," he said.
Ngcongca was confident the team could return home with a positive result.
"It's going to be tough. But I think, not taking anything away from Sudan, we should go there and go and get some points."