Arrows’ star hails Mosimane

2010-07-20 00:00

NEWLY-APPOINTED Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane will do well if he keeps his Brazilian technical staff.

This is the opinion of rising midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni upon learning that the former SuperSport United mentor has been handed the reins after years of understudy.

Khuboni was referring to Brazilian Jairo Leal, who was Mosimane’s co-assistant under previous Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, and fitness trainer Francisco Gonzalez, whose work has been highly praised for getting Bafana into superb physical condition for the 2009 Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

In being the first Bafana Bafana player to speak to The Witness about the Mosimane appointment, the 24-year old Lamontville Golden Arrows player with an educated left foot said: “I think it’s a good thing that we have Mosimane as our new coach.

“He’s been with the national team for a long time … He knows a lot of stuff within the team and its set-up. It’s good that we have continuity in the team because it might have been a problem for us to adapt to a new coach’s approach.

“I believe in Mosimane’s capabilities, but he would do well with the team if he kept the two Brazilians because they are the backbone of the team.”

Gonzalez was praised for managing to get the likes of weighty Kagisho Dikgacoi, Lance Davids and the previously lacklustre Katlego Mphela into top condition during last year’s Confederations Cup.

The national team was one of the fittest at the World Cup thanks to Gonzalez’s work.

The laid-back Leal is regarded by those in the Bafana camp as being highly intelligent and well-schooled in football.

Khuboni, who only began to feature for Bafana after making his debut just three months before the World Cup, identified straight-talking Mosimane as someone tactically sound and a visionary.

“He’s got tactics that coach Parreria also shared with us. He looks beyond the upcoming game and his trainings are informed by what the opposition will offer. He is very strict, but easy and a pleasure to work with.

“I recall growing frustrated at not getting game time at the World Cup after being accustomed to action in the build-up to the tournament. Pitso calmly advised me to be patient as my turn would come.

“That’s why I wasn’t overwhelmed by the big stage when I got to play our final game against France.

“It’s uplifting to have a coach who believes in you; protecting you from being thrown in the deep end,” Khuboni said.

The Clermont-born youngster looked back with pride on the France game. Playing just in front of old warhorse MacBeth Sibaya, Khuboni endeared himself to fans with his performance.

“I have never enjoyed myself like that. For once we did not register in our minds that that was a do-or-die match, but went out there and applied ourselves and things fell into place … MacBeth did the dirty work for me and laid on the balls for me to distribute.”

Of his reported overseas move, Khuboni said: “It looks like I will stay here at Arrows for only this season. I don’t have a problem with that because that will afford me the chance to impress the Bafana selectors.

“If I jumped at an overseas offer, I might find myself struggling for action, putting myself in a difficult situation of forcing my way back to the national team. I want to add to my eight caps while playing here at home.

Khuboni had a parting shot for his Bafana team-mate, Teko Modise, whose decline in form has many people worried.

”If only he could humble himself, he will go far. He’s got talent and can be a match winner. There was a time when coach Parreira persisted in fielding him in spite of him dismally failing to deliver. That did not go down well with those who felt they deserved a place.”

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