THOKOZANI ASKS FOR TRUST
Sundowns’ Sekotlong says Bafana should develop next generation
AS NATIONAL teams like England, Brazil, Spain and France continue to believe in young players, South Africa insists on living in its own world, valuing “experience” more than fresh talent.
The result is that Bafana Bafana will miss yet another World Cup with their stalwarts, while national teams with young players surge on to compete for football’s highest honour. Even local players like Mamelodi Sundowns striker Thokozani Sekotlong watch with envy as other national teams do what local players wish Bafana could do.
“It is something one never really gets to understand. Look at my teammates Motjeka Madisha and Percy Tau. They are young but they have won the CAF Champions League and they are playing,” Sekotlong said.
“Why are they considered too young for Bafana Bafana? Marco Asensio is young but he is there in Spain. Marcus Rashford is playing in England and Gabriel Jesus is there in Brazil.
“Their talent alone has them playing for the top teams in Europe and for their national teams. It is surprising that we do things differently here.
“How will our players get experience at international level if you do not pick them and play them? There is Phakamani Mahlambi as well in Egypt.”
During the World Cup qualifying campaign, South Africa has religiously overlooked players like Mahlambi, Tau, Madisha, Luther Singh, Keagan Dolly, Lebogang Mothiba, Lebogang Phiri, Teboho Mokoena and Kobamelo Kodisang, while older players like Siphiwe Tshabalala, Morgan Gould, Clayton Daniels and, in some instances, Thamsanqa Gabuza, made the national team.
Meanwhile, Sundowns striker Sekotlong said he is ready to deliver when Sundowns face PSL champions Bidvest Wits in a league match next Tuesday.
Both teams have been struggling since the start of the season and Sekotlong is confident that his team will do well.
“We are more or less going through the same thing as Wits, but this break has helped us fix the things we were not doing right. I am ready whenever the coach calls me and I know that my teammates too want to change the team’s fortunes because we are a winning team and we want to keep it that way.”
Sekotlong joined Sundowns from Free State Stars at the beginning of the season and has so far scored one goal for the former African champions.
ON THE SIDELINE: Thokozani Sekotlong of Mamelodi Sundowns.