Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund will have a full compliment of players to work with this morning (Wednesday, 4 September) 2013 after all selected players reported for national team duty.
The latest to arrive were the five Orlando Pirates players, Andile Jali, Senzo Meyiwa, Daine Klate, Thabo Matlaba and Oupa Manyisa . They had just returned from club commitments in the CAF Champions League in Egypt. This means Igesund will have a full squad at training for the first time since arriving in Durban on Monday.
Tokelo Rantie (Sweden) and Siyanda Xulu (Russia) were able to catch the second training session on Tuesday (3 September), after missing the morning session. The overseas based quartet of Anele Ngcongca and Darren Keet (both Belgium) and Thulani Serero and Kamogelo Mokotjo (both Holland) took part in the morning session.
Bafana Bafana are in the coastal city to take on Botswana in a Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier scheduled for the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 07 September.
Kickoff is at 15h30.
The players are looking forward to the game and have also spoken of the importance of the match.
“This is a massive game, it is important that we get the result. We do not have to think about what happened in the first match when we played to a 1-1 draw. For us, this match is like a cup final,” said defender Bongani Khumalo.
The clash also sees the return of midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi, who missed a few Bafana Bafana matches due injury.
“So far I am excited about my fitness and performance for my club where we have already played three games which have been very intensive. But most importantly, I am more excited about being back in the squad and looking forward to the clash on Saturday,” said Dikgacoi.
“Bafana Bafana have been doing well so it will be difficult for me to just walk back into the starting line-up. But the challenge is good as it shows there is strong competition in the midfield which will make the job of the coach difficult for Saturday. I am ready to fight for my place.”
Another player itching to get a run is Holland-based Kamohelo Mokotjo.
“It is good to be here, and with so many established players in the squad I just have to keep doing well at club level and my chance will come. I must keep working hard during training sessions and show the coach what I am capable of, and if he gives me some minutes I will do my best to impress,” said Mokotjo.
“I have played five games for my club and scored two goals as a defensive midfielder. I have been in Europe for four and a half years, and many people in South Africa do not know a lot about me, so it would be nice to get a run and show what I am capable of. But I must emphasise that this weekend is not about me, it is about the team. It is important that we get three points because we want to qualify for the world cup.“