Senior players need to step up to help Bafana win Chan – Siphiwe Tshabalala

2014-01-08 16:50

Bafana Bafana midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala has called for the senior players in the team to dig deeper and help the team to win the African Nations Championship (Chan).

Tshabalala, who is the most senior player in the team with more than 80 caps, said it was important for the players who have been around in the national set up to help the youngsters if the team was to do well in the tournament.

Bafana take on Mozambique in the opening match at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

“It is our responsibility as senior members of the team to make the young ones feel at home so they can settle down quickly. Our experience must count because people are looking up to us to lead by example,” Tshabalala said.

Other senior members in the team include goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune, Bernard Parker, Thabo Nthethe and Katlego Mashego.

Tshabalala also said winning the opening game would be a good confidence booster and would set the tone for the rest of the tournament.

“The first game is always crucial because it is a motivation to win. It is always good to start the tournament on a positive note, although winning the first game does not mean winning the tournament.”

He said they were going to take it one game at a time. “The most important game is the opening and we know what is expected. We will do our best to make sure we win it.”

Tshabalala said it was always an honour to wear the national team’s jersey and was looking forward to representing the country with pride.

“I am grateful for the chance given to me and hopefully I will get a run on Saturday.”

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