Show­time for Isaacs af­ter Bafana snub

‘Hon­our to play at new sta­dium’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REINERS

ER­WIN ISAACS has good rea­son to be miffed at not be­ing in­cluded in Bafana Bafana’s train­ing squad cur­rently un­der way in Dur­ban.

In­stead of the op­por­tu­nity to show Bafana coach Car­los Al­berto Par­reira the depth and ex­tent of his un­doubted tal­ent, the San­tos at­tacker will this af­ter­noon strut his stuff at the new R4.5 bil­lion Cape Town Sta­dium.

San­tos take on neigh­bours Ajax Cape Town in a friendly match at the new World Cup venue in Green Point (kick-off 4pm) – and Isaacs, at least, has the chance to re­mind lo­cal sup­port­ers of what Bafana and Par­reira are miss­ing.

The con­stant re­frain from the Bafana brain­strust is that they be­lieve Isaacs is too small for in­ter­na­tional level.

Need they be re­minded of pint-sized tal­ents like Maradona, Messi and Ar­shavin.

Size doesn’t mat­ter, it’s the size of the fight in­side the player that is more im­por­tant.

And Isaacs cer­tainly has fight. In ad­di­tion, he has tech­nique, pace, in­tel­li­gence and supreme con­fi­dence.

The San­tos man, though, has put be­hind him the dis­ap­point­ment of miss­ing out on the Bafana call and was looking for­ward to what should be a fan­tas­tic oc­ca­sion at the new sta­dium this af­ter­noon.

“It is a big hon­our for me to play in this great new sta­dium,” said Isaacs. “I have never ac­tu­ally been in­side the sta­dium, so it will be a real plea­sure for me when I ar­rive there to­day.

“Our whole team is looking for­ward to show­ing the peo­ple of Cape Town what we can do and also to show the or­gan­is­ers that they made the right de­ci­sion in ask­ing San­tos to play the first ever game at the new Cape Town Sta­dium.”

San­tos have beaten Ajax twice al­ready this sea­son and are con­fi­dent they can again put one over their arch-ri­vals and neigh­bours Ajax to­day.

“Ev­ery time I play against Ajax it is my Cup fi­nal,” said Isaacs. “I al­ways seem to be able to raise my game and usu­ally have a good game against them. They are my daily bread and they know it!

“The way our team is play­ing I am sure we will put up a very good per­for­mance. All the guys are train­ing hard at the mo­ment and this game is just what we need to get us up and run­ning for the rest of the sea- son. I think we can make it three out of three against Ajax for the sea­son.”

Isaacs’ team­mates, striker Eleazar Rodgers and cap­tain and cen­tral de­fender Mo­gogi Gabona­mong agreed.

“It’s go­ing to be a mem­o­rable game and I am priv­i­leged to go down in his­tory as be­ing a part of the first game ever to take place at the sta­dium,” said Eleazar Rodgers.

“The or­gan­is­ers could not have cho­sen a bet­ter game with which to open the new sta­dium due to the friendly ri­valry that ex­ists be­tween two clubs.

“I en­joy play­ing in the derby and some over the past few years have been very mem­o­rable. The games are al­ways very tight and this is what the spec­ta­tors en­joy.”

Gabona­mong said: “Our team is well or­gan­ised at the mo­ment and play­ing good foot­ball.

“The whole squad knows the im­por­tance of a derby, so we have not made any spe­cial plans for to­day. We will play as we usu­ally do, and our play­ers are ma­tur­ing with each game.”

GALLO IM­AGES

OUT THE BOX: Er­win Isaacs can’t wait to play in the brand-new sta­dium.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.