Showtime for Isaacs after Bafana snub
‘Honour to play at new stadium’
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.”
OUT THE BOX: Erwin Isaacs can’t wait to play in the brand-new stadium.