More SA players should seek international experience - Ntseki
DURBAN – Bafana Bafana do not have any players in the top European leagues at the moment, much to the irritation of national coach Molefi Ntseki.
Ntseki wants to see more of his countrymen in the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and German Bundesliga.
In the past, Bafana had the likes of Lucas Radebe, Shaun Bartlett, Mark Williams, Philemon Masinga, David Nyathi, Benni McCarthy, Aaron Mokoena, Steven Pienaar, Nasif Morris, Tsepo Masilela and Quinton Fortune campaigning in the top European leagues.
“If we can export more of our players to the European market, they will share the experience that they have acquired while playing abroad,” Ntseki explained in an interview with Independent Media.
South Africa’s best talent is currently in France, where the likes of Keagan Dolly, Bongani Zungu, Lebo Phiri and Lebo Mothiba are plying their trade.
Ntseki said: “When I watched the La Liga recently as they came back after the coronavirus (break), I saw a number of north African players playing for Spanish teams. It was also the same when I watched the English Premier League. I saw more West African players.
“But when I look at players who are of South African origin, we don’t have any, and this is a very big concern for me. We need players playing regularly in the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga.”
Bafana haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 2002 in Japan and South Korea. Over the last decade they have only qualified for two Africa Cup of Nations out of five tournaments.
Football for hope is a @FIFAcom program designed to bring football to less privileged communities. South Africa has pitches built in areas such as Khayelitsha and Alexander townships #my2010memories pic.twitter.com/FjIY71beqK
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) July 4, 2020
Ntseki took over the coaching reins from Stuart Baxter last year and he challenged SA players to be more consistent.
“For any team to do well, they need consistent players,” Ntseki said.
“We also need committed players who will come to the national team and work very hard for each other and their country and make sure that we qualify for Afcon and the World Cup. A big Bafana pool made up of consistent performers will make us strong.
“Again, if we can have more players exposed to the (European) continental club competitions, it will be very easy for them to adapt for Bafana at a national level.”