News24

Bafana have 'no superstars'

2012-11-05 14:33

Johannesburg - While Bafana Bafana have no "superstars", according to head coach Gordon Igesund, he remains confident his squad can shine at next year's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) if they learn to work as a team.

Igesund was speaking after naming a 24-man squad on Monday for the Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Zambia at FNB Stadium next week.

“What wins things from my experience is having a team that respect each other, love and fight for each other," he said.

"It's not always the best team that wins, but the team that really wants it the most.

“We need to work hard and that's very important. We've got no superstars in our team but nothing is impossible."

Igesund, who took charge of the national side in July, was given a mandate to reach the semi-finals of the continental tournament and qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

After four games at the helm, which included two wins and two defeats, Igesund said he was finding balance in the squad and had nearly finalised his Afcon group.

“We're going to be more balanced,” Igesund said.

“We've played four games and I've really had a good look at a pool of players.”

“I've probaly got about 75 to 80 percent of the team.”

Igesund said he would have liked more time with a full squad ahead of the continental showpiece, but it was just not possible due to his players' club commitments.

“I'd love to have the team for six weeks and train with them every morning but I'm not going to have that so I'm not going to complain about that," he said.

“It would be wonderful if I could get the entire squad three weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations -- that would be great.

“We've played four really good games in my time with the team and I'm positive about the future.”

Igesund was set to leave for England later on Monday, where he will meet with a number of club managers and foreign-based SA players.

“It's very important to negotiate with the managers and to build a relationship," he said.

“I'll be seeing Davide Somma and a few other players.”

Igesund said he would also meet with recently retired international Steven Pienaar, the former national captain who stepped down last month.

“I'll be seeing Steven Pienaar and have a coffee with him," he said.

"I'm not going there to talk Steven out of anything. I'm going there to have a coffee."

Igesund did not, however, rule out the possibility of a return to the national team for the Everton midfielder.

“For me, Steven Pienaar, he was a great ambassador for our country.

"He is one of our own, and a great player. I think I owe it to him to go and have a chat with him.

“I think Steven had to make a very tough decision, but I haven't shut the door on him, so who knows where the conversation goes.”

Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Darren Keet.

Defenders: Bevan Fransman, Thabo Nthethe, Siyabonga Sangweni, Anele Ngcongca, Punch Masenamela, Bongani Khumalo (capt), Ricardo Nunes.

Midfielders: Oupa Manyisa, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sifiso Myeni, Thanduyise Khuboni, Teko Modise, Delron Buckley, Lerato Chabangu, Thuso Phala, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Dean Furman.

Strikers: Bernard Parker, Katlego Mashego, Tokelo Rantie, Kermit Erasmus.

SAPA

Comments
  • neville.mclean - 2012-11-05 14:59

    Could not help getting goose bumps when i heard Gordon Igesund speak at the press conference! the man speaks with so much passionate and pride when talking about his country and taking bafana forward, really awesome! i dont think a foreign coach could do the same! really looking forward to what will come out of this man ito results, good squad as well! pity about some injuries!

      Thabo Dijoe - 2012-11-05 16:30

      Igesund should be given this job for a longer period, meeting that mandate or not, this is one man you need to take this squad higher. it was long overdue he got this job, we wasted money and else resources on that Pitso Mosimane who had no vision at all

      kgatla.clico - 2012-11-05 20:43

      Man cn u c tht, this man should have been given ths job long tme

  • dhirshan.gobind - 2012-11-05 15:01

    put some of our rugby and cricket guys in the team and they will do ten times better. imagine bryan habana on the wing or frans steyn as a defender (nobody will get past him). soccer is supposed to be our best code as it is by far the most popular and is supposed to have the most talent to choose from! sad indeed!

      namedi.mphahlele.71 - 2012-11-06 01:50

      @ Morne Linden: You are the man and you don't only know soccer but played soccer..

      thebe.motshwadira - 2012-11-06 10:45

      Rugby and cricket are a niche market compared to soccer. The habanas u talk about have fewer opponents

  • leedsunitedfc - 2012-11-05 15:16

    It has been a long while since this country has had a coach who actually understand what a team is. Well done SAFA for making your first good decision in over a decade.

  • nketso.kgwadi - 2012-11-05 18:21

    Safa and psl are failing SA, players like lucas radebe mark fish sizwe motaung david nyathi doctor and shoes will never be seen again since it abt self interest and money players like jali would sit on the bench if we go back 15 years back, shows how bad we doing in terms of talent scount and unearthing it.

  • vusumzi.bazi - 2012-11-05 19:29

    Talkin abt balance, I think Gordon considered that was worth considering when picking the squad and am quite optimistic we will do well in the encounter against Zambia and AFCON.I have never seen a Bafana coach more determined and with a more passion than Gordon.Now its all down to the players.

  • kgatla.clico - 2012-11-05 19:31

    Igusend hs the best,thnx safa,4 leasning our need of coach 4 wat he wnt to tke the intire SA and bafana hapy 4 the coming afcon,becuse our coach alwys belve ,us as a suport's among the bord safa let us knw tht ths old mam wth white her da is a characta and mentalitie lot of skil experience in hs head,gordon is nt just like avry coach i can say that mybe he was born to hil those who sick and wake those who slepd dow to lift thm up and let them knw wat football is, safa pls if u see this min's coment just take it and paset in ur book of safa aftre the coming ths afcon u wl call me and thank my word,that igusend his going to make an history to south africa arownd the continet,my final words,bafana bafana thy are going to lift the cup of afcon

      kgatla.clico - 2012-11-05 20:33

      Da last's celebration 4 bafana last year in mbombela thy are going to recelebrate back

  • Theuns Jacobs - 2012-11-05 19:32

    they also have zero wins!

  • kgatla.clico - 2012-11-05 20:21

    Thnx gordo to reguest what i was lot sick of thinking go and come with him david soma stive and andrwe

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