Bafana Bafana have started serious preparations for the Norway game scheduled for the Mother City next Tuesday, 8 January 2013. The Senior National team arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday, 2 January 2013.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 20h15.
A total of 22 players reported for national team duty, including England-based Kagisho Dikgacoi who arrived on Thursday but missed the first training session at Athlone Stadium. Still to arrive is Dean Furman who plays for Oldham Athletic also in England. The midfielder will feature in an FA Cup clash for his side this weekend and is expected in Cape Town on Sunday, 6 January.
This is the first time the team gets together since head coach Gordon Igesund announced the final 23-man squad that will represent South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 tournament.
“It is good to be playing Norway as part of the AFCON 2013 preparations because if you look at the style of play of both Morocco and Cape Verde, it is European orientated.
“So this match will help me a great deal. And I must emphasise that while winning is good that is however, not everything we are looking for. We need to gel and be ready for the tournament, which is the bigger picture,” said Igesund at a press conference in Cape Town.
“There is no point winning against Norway and Algeria and then not deliver on the 19th when we face Cape Verde. This is a very new team and we have some different combinations we need to work on. So these two matches are crucial in that they will help the team to become a unit so that by the time the AFCON kicks off we will play as a unit.”
The coach was excited with his side’s first training session in the morning.
“The players are giving me a very good headache; previously they were fighting to be in he final 23 now they are fighting to make the starting line-up. That is great for the overall picture,” said Igesund.
Captain Bongani Khumalo concurred with his head coach.
“It is a great honour representing your country in such a prestigious tournament and competition for places is stiff because we all want to be in the starting line up. We want to leave our mark as a new generation and we believe we have the ability to do that. The boys are eager to work even harder,” said Khumalo.
City of Cape Town Executive Director, Anton Groenewald said they were proud to host this match as a sign of their commitment and continuous support for Bafana Bafana.
“We are confident that they will do the nation proud,” he said.