Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana took time off their busy schedule on Wednesday to spend some time with pupils from Hoerskool Randburg.
The senior men’s national team is using the school’s soccer field for the preparation of their upcoming 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger. The match will be played on Saturday at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
Kick-off is at 20:30.
The Bafana Bafana players, the technical team as well as the support staff was introduced individually to about three hundred (300) pupils who had gathered on the field shortly before the team’s training session in the morning. Head coach Pitso Mosimane had words of encouragement to the attentive pupils.
“Education and football is a good mixture. In our midst we have a doctor, we have a physiotherapist, physical trainer, a masseur and a media officer who all went to study for their respective professions. So you can still work in football and not be a soccer player, so don’t think if you can’t make it as a football there is no future for you. I know your school does not have soccer as a sport, but I have made a commitment that I will provide you with a coach and I hope this will get the ball rolling in starting the sport in your school. I am encouraged that already, even though we haven’t started, about 80 pupils have shown interest, now that is a good sign,” said Mosimane.
His words were echoed by captain Aaron Mokoena.
“We can’t all be footballers, some of you here have an opportunity to lead this country in different sphere’s of life, so don’t throw away this wonder opportunity that you have at the moment. Being a soccer player is a lot of sacrifice, but so is everything else in life – if you put in a lot of hard work now the benefits will be far greater. Education is very important for our country and you are the future leaders so make good use of this chance because there are millions out there who are longing to get this opportunity. Thank you for allowing us into your school and for borrowing us your facilities,” said Mokoena.
The Headmaster of Hoerskool Randburg, Pieter Booysen, was elated at meeting the national team.
“We are honoured and privileged to host this wonderful group of players here. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup we were with Brazil on this very same field, now to host one of our own is just awesome. Thank you for choosing our school and its facilities to help your preparation. All the best for the match against Niger on Saturday, and we know you are going to get good results,” said Booysen.
After the formalities the players mingled with the pupils for a short while, handing out signed autographed cards, and then it was to training.