Johannesburg - Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach, Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba is still emotional, this after the 64-year-old football mentor touched down on South African soil with the National men’s Under 20 squad, Amajita, from their tour in West Africa.
According to the Soccer-Laduma website, Shakes who was given the nod by the South African Football Association to take over from Gordon Igesund, was not present during his appointment on July 26.
“Reality has now sunk in and I feel the weight of expectations from the public because this is their team. I promise not to disappoint but I cannot do it alone, with your help South Africa we will do well for this team. Do not put us under too much pressure and when you do criticise, let it be constructive to help us build Bafana Bafana,” said a sobbing Mashaba as he addressed the media the OR Tambo International Airport.
Upon his arrival back to South Africa, SAFA president, Danny Jordaan, welcomed back the new Bafana coach along with the Amajita players.
“The mission was to expose our players to what is to be expected including travel and conditions. All in all I think we achieved our objectives. Thanks once again to SAFA for the wonderful opportunity they gave us, this will go a long way in preparing these boys,” added Mashaba.
“Cote d’Ivoire gave us a good clue of what to expect in Cameroon. They were quick off the mark, physical and were also good running on and off the ball. That was perhaps our toughest match on tour and it showed that my boys have it in them to mix it with the best. I am very confident that come the Cameroon game, it will be a different story,” he said.