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Pienaar: Let's up the exports

2010-07-14 14:39
Steven Pienaar (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Steven Pienaar believes the national team will improve if South Africa exports more young players to the top leagues.

The 28-year-old Everton star is widely regarded as Bafana Bafana's best player and he is adamant his time overseas has been key to his development.

"It is important that we identify our talented players at a young age and send them overseas to develop their game even further," he told the Cape Times.

"You don't only learn about football, but also about life and discipline off the field.

"You also learn about the mental aspects of the game and the desire to win. Your mindset is totally different if you're stuck in South Africa."

Pienaar, who started his European career with Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, is now hoping Bafana can atone for their first round exit at the World Cup, starting with qualifying for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

"If we want to develop into a world-class side, we have to play a lot of competitive matches against the best teams in the world," he said.

"We were very disappointed (with the World Cup exit) because our goal was to go past the group stages.

"The preparation was good and the hunger and desire to win was there from the start. Unfortunately we couldn't just do the business on the field." 
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