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Thu Apr 17 02:51:20 SAST 2014

Igesund looks overseas to boost Bafana squad

Michael Sherman, Sapa | 12 September, 2012 10:270 Comments
International Match: South Africa v Mozambique
Bafana coach Gordon Igesund during the international friendly between South Africa and Mozambique at Mbombela Stadium on September 11, 2012 in Nelspruit, South Africa
Image by: Manus van Dyk / Gallo Images

New Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has cast his net overseas in an effort to boost the national squad, suggesting that a couple of foreign players are set to change allegiance.

Striker Bernard Parker scored a brace as Bafana notched up a 2-0 win over Mozambique in Nelspruit on Tuesday for their first win with Igesund at the helm.

“There’s a couple of players — I don’t want to mention names — that are really playing at a very high level in Europe at the moment,” Igesund said after his team was cheered off the pitch at Mbombela Stadium.

“They were born here and never played [for South Africa]. They’ve represented those countries they’re in now.

“Two of them have decided they want to play for South Africa, and one of them is an absolute world-class player from what I’ve seen.

“He will be introduced as soon as all his paperwork is done.”

South Africa next play Poland away on October 12 and Igesund was still considering his options after two matches in charge.

“Every game we play, we want to win the game, but you need to understand that I also need to have a look at certain players,” he said.

Having given a few players chances against Brazil in Sao Paulo last week — where they went down in a 1-0 defeat — and Nelspruit, Igesund praised the performances of the youngsters in the side.

“I was able to play a lot of the young players — George Maluleka, May [Mahlangu], [Thulani] Serero and a few others — and I was able to mix the side up and have a good look,” he said.

“I would have liked to give one or two other players a run but being an official international we could only make six substitutions [against Mozambique].

“Overall, I’m pleased. I do acknowledge we have a lot of work to do.” 

The victory over Mozambique brought a positive end to a difficult period for Bafana after they had lost a hard-fought match against Brazil four days earlier.

“We travelled through five time zones and the players were tired,” Igesund said.

“I didn’t want to talk about this before the game because people would say I’m making excuses, but there’s still lots of work to do.”

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