Cape Town - Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has hailed the inaugural Four Nations tournament in Zambia as a resounding success after beating the hosts 2-0 in Saturday's final to lift the trophy.
South Africa was part of a quartet of Southern African nations competing at the tournament held in Ndola, Zambia from March 21-24 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Baxter assembled a young squad comprising of youth and experience for this tournament. Some of the exciting talent included the likes of Siphesihle Ndlovu (21), Ryan Moon (21), Motjeka Madisha (23), Teboho Mokoena (21), Reeve Frosler (20) and Maphosa Modiba (22) who were all given a run during the tournament.
"This was indeed a fruitful exercise for the technical team as well as the players," Baxter said. "We had two highly competitive opponents in a short space of time and did well in both games. We played two different teams because we wanted everyone to play, especially the kids and they really held their own in tough conditions."
Baxter went on to compliment the standard of coaching in the Absa Premiership, saying that after only one session with the players, he was able to put together two different teams that could respond to instructions and tactics in a very short period of time.
"I need to give credit to the coaches in the Absa Premiership. If you look at the time we had with the team, it was very short but for them to quickly adapt to instructions and the tactics we wanted for both matches is something to be complimented."
The Bafana Bafana mentor said while this was a step in the right direction, there still was lots of work that needs to be done to get the team back to its glory days, adding the process should not be rushed and would take time to yield positive results.
Baxter and his technical team will now shift focus to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers which they kicked off in style with a historic 2-0 away victory against Nigeria in Uyo.
Bafana Bafana are joint leaders of group D with Libya followed by Nigeria and the Seychelles after just one round of matches.