Siboniso Gaxa, Bafana’s defending wall?

2013-01-30 14:28

Siboniso Gaxa, 28, a local hero for Kaizer Chiefs and an experienced defender for the national team, will play a critical role in taking Bafana Bafana to great heights in the Africa Cup of Nations. But will his experience and his exposure against some of the best strikers in recent history be enough to keep the Bafana Bafana scoresheet clean?

Shaun Bartlett, one of South Africa’s most celebrated strikers, analyses Siboniso’s abilities.

1. Solid pedigree

Siboniso’s pedigree is excellent. He played for Supersport United for six seasons and represented Mamelodi Sundowns and Belgian club Lierse.

This season he formed part of the Kaizer Chiefs outfit that went unbeaten for 10 straight games.

As a defender, he was part of the Bafana Bafana squad for six seasons, and also featured in the national squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

That level of experience is a vital component for South Africa.

2. Fast on his feet

One of Siboniso’s greatest qualities is that he can deal with express pace and can shut down attacking midfielders and strikers.

He is not a static defender – most international teams expect their defenders to move forward when the opportunity presents itself, and this is something Siboniso does successfully.

His energy and ability to find his strikers with good crosses make him an asset to Bafana Bafana.

3. Expert crossing

Many international coaches expect their defenders to be able to find the midfielders and wings with pinpoint passing.

Siboniso is an experienced player who has learned and perfected the trade since 2002.

He possesses one of the very best crosses in South Africa, which obviously gives the strikers opportunities to head it home or use a lethal right boot to find the back of the net.

4. Good partnership

Kaizer Chiefs are currently the PSL log leaders and Siboniso is at the heart of their defensive wall, which explains why the Soweto giants have not conceded too many goals.

The key question was whether he has lost much of his top attributes since his injury, and he has answered his critics in style.

His partnership with goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has contributed to that good defensive record.

The fact that Khune is also the number-one goalkeeper in the country means that their partnership will continue at the Africa Cup of Nations, which is to Bafana Bafana’s advantage.

5. Protecting your house

As coach, I always tell my players that the goal mouth is your house, and you have to defend your zone with passion. Siboniso does this very well.

It’s not simply about raw physical attributes – you also need street wisdom and the ability to read play as to when to go forward and when to stay back. He has done this excellently for club and country, and displays first-class awareness.

» Get your iMag with City Press on Sunday

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.