Bafana 'can conquer Africa': Igesund
20 September 2012
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund believes that if South Africans rally behind their team, they will win the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament, which takes place in South Africa in January.
Igesund was speaking during an interview with the South African Football Association (Safa) in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
"I think at the moment, there is a great vibe in the country regarding our national team and I know when this national team goes into the field and there are 60 000 people blowing their vuvuzelas and truly supporting the players and getting behind the team, we will be very difficult to beat," said Igesund.
"If the boys continue with the positive attitude, we really can go places including conquering Africa, of course."
Igesund said he was encouraged by the cooperation given to him by Safa and the Premier Soccer League (PSL), who were working together to make sure "we have a successful Bafana" side.
He said the recent friendly matches against Brazil and Mozambique had given him an ideal foundation on which to build a successful national team.
Although the bulk of the national team players would be drawn from the domestic leagues, Igesund said he would also monitor all eligible Bafana players plying their trade overseas.
"There are plenty of players across the world who qualify to play for South Africa. I still believe, though, that a good chunk of players in the national team should come from South Africa.
"It is important to understand that not all players that play overseas qualify (in terms of quality) to play for Bafana. We have our own top players plying their trade locally. Only if the overseas player is better than we have at home, will he be called up," he said.
Asked whether he would continue to rotate his goalkeepers, Igesund said much as he was spoilt for choice, he does not believe in the rotation system.
He also sang the praises of his two assistants, Thomas Madigage and Serame Letsoaka.
"I think Tommy and Serame are both excellent individuals," said Igesund, "and I think our working relationship and understanding could not be better. There is no doubt in my mind that together we can make Bafana a force to be reckoned with."
African Cup of Nations
The African Cup of Nations kicks off at Soccer City in Johannesburg on 19 January 2013. The knockout phase begins on 2 February and the tournament concludes with the final being played on 10 February.
South Africa has hosted the African Cup of Nations once previously, in 1996. Then, under coach Clive Barker and captain Neil Tovey, Bafana Bafana were crowned champions of Africa.
Bafana Bafana play their next match against Poland in Bydgoszcz on 12 October. That is followed by a game against Zambia in November.
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