Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan has lauded the young Bafana Bafana squad that won the COSAFA Cup.
The mostly under-23 squad that will take part in the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics participated in this year’s COSAFA Cup in the Namibian capital of Windhoek.
Bafana Bafana stunned football lovers with their ambitious and direct brand of football which left many football pundits admitting the future of South African football was bright.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Shakes Mashaba, his technical team and of course the players who conquered the entire Southern Africa Region for a job well done,” said Jordaan on the official SAFA website.
“Few gave them (the young players) a chance but their determination surprised everyone.
“They displayed some amazing fighting spirit and till the final whistle, never stopped trying, running and were justifiably rewarded as the best side in the Region.
“Well done. It goes to show SAFA’s Vision 2022 is very much on track.”
Jordaan said the COSAFA Cup tournament had given the under-23 a massive boost ahead of the Rio Olympics and together with Banyana Banyana will be going to Brazil to make a statement for the country.
“We have invested millions in making sure that our two teams (Banyana Banyana and under-23) are fully prepared for the Olympics and we have left nothing to chance.”
The SAFA President said despite Bafana Bafana having failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon due to their poor start when they drew with Gambia in Durban and lost to Mauritania, South African football’s future looked bright.
“Having beaten Gambia 4-0 away from home, it is imperative to finish the AFCON qualifiers against Mauritania with a flourish so that we enter the Africa Zone 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in confident mood,” added the SAFA boss.
“We are in a tough group but I am sure with good preparations, we should make it to Russia in 2018.”
Bafana Bafana are in Group D together with Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde.
Jordaan said both the under-20 and under-17 sides are preparing for the CAF African Youth Championships that will take place in Zambia and Madagascar respectively next year.
"Vision 2022 is the bedrock of our future and there is no looking back," said Jordaan.