Bafana need to bond, unify – Sandilands

2013-07-11 16:37

It was crucial for the assembled group of newcomers in the national team to adapt quickly on the field, said Bafana Bafana captain Wayne Sandilands ahead of their Cosafa Cup match against Namibia in Lusaka, Zambia, on Saturday.

“We have a lot of new faces but there are no excuses, we will be representing our country and we have to do our best,” Sandilands said at the team’s departure in Johannesburg yesterday.

“We just need to bond and unify quickly so we can do the business on the field, because there is not a lot of time.”

Bafana were given a bye into the quarterfinals of the tournament which last Saturday. Sandilands was named Bafana captain after incumbent Itumeleng Khune was one of the Kaizer Chiefs players not released by his club for the fixture.

“It’s a great honour for me and I would like to thank the coach for the faith he has shown in me,” Sandilands said at the team’s departure in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper, who has been on the winning side in each of his three previous appearances for the national team, is one of the few players remaining from last month’s World Cup qualifiers.

He becomes the seventh goalkeeper to captain the national team – after Andre Arendse, Hans Vonk, John Tale, Brian Baloyi, Moeneeb Josephs and Itumeleng Khune – and the 34th player overall.

“It’s the first time for me being in this position even though I have captained my club on numerous occasions and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“As players, when you represent your country you have to be the face of the national team, be the ambassador and the guys don’t need that much motivation.”

He said captaining a team which had never played together before would be a challenge, but also an opportunity for many players.

“We just need to remind the guys of the importance of being here and the opportunity that we have,” he said.

“This is a chance for many players to show the coach they want to be part of the team going forward, so we need to have the right frame of mind.”

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