Bafana Bafana

Bafana have 'no superstars'

2012-11-05 14:33
Gordon Igesund (Gallo)

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.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer

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