14 July 2017 – Striker Ryan Moon says he still can’t believe he has been called up to the Bafana Bafana squad that will play in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers against Botswana.
He is one of the 15 new players brought into the squad after the COSAFA Castle Cup tournament that ended last weekend in Rustenburg.
The Kaizer Chiefs player says it’s a dream come true.
“It’s a great honor for me, and I want to give praise and glory to the Almighty for this opportunity. It’s been a great week for a young boy like me to realise his dream so early. When I was much younger than now, I dreamt of this chance, now I am here and it’s just unbelievable,” said Moon.
“The sessions have been great, the players have been welcoming, more so because I played with most of them at different clubs, so it’s been a great feeling, and sometimes I have to remind myself that I am here, because I just can’t believe that I am with Bafana Bafana.”
Moon is from a football-mad family.
His older brother, Bryce, spent some time playing in Greece and locally he was on the books of Supersport United, Ajax Cape Town, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Bryce has also been capped at Bafana Bafana level.
The 21-year old says that’s where he found inspiration.
“As a family we would go to every game that Bryce played at, and be very supportive and meet some of the players. When I first found out about the national team call up, I sent Bryce so many messages but did not tell him what happened, I kept on saying ‘guess what’ so many times. He got worried that something terrible had happened, but when he found out he was very excited and called me immediately to tell me he was proud of me and wished me luck,” added Ryan.
“He has always been my role model, I have always looked up to him and to follow in his footsteps is a great honour. I would also want to achieve those things too – being at Bafana Bafana and playing overseas.”
Ryan is aware that they are in for a tough day in the office against Botswana but believes they have what it takes to get away with a victory.
He was not part of the 2-0 win in the COSAFA CUP last week.
“I watched the game on television, and I am aware they might want to come for revenge because no team wants to lose. But we came here with a game plan and we know what we want to do and what we need to do, so we don’t have to worry about them, but we have to stick to our strength and give it a good game and I am sure we can return home with a win. But we know it will not be easy, so we have to bring our A game to be victorious,” said Ryan.
While being called up to the national team is a great honour, the KwaZulu Natal-born striker says he is about to fulfill a childhood dream.
“When I was younger my father once told me that if you don’t know how to sing your national anthem you can’t play for Bafana Bafana. From an early age I learnt to sing the song because I have always wanted to play for my country at a senior level. So if am in the starting line-up and sing the national anthem, it would be the fulfillment of a childhood dream,” said Ryan.
“Another achievement for me would be to play and score goals for Bafana Bafana, and given a chance over these two games I will give it my all. But as this is a team of great players I will take it as it comes.”
South Africa and Botswana go toe to toe on Saturday, 15 July.
The first leg takes place at the Francistown Stadium in Botswana with a 15h30 kickoff.
The second leg is set for Saturday, 22 July 2017 at the Moruleng Stadium.
Kickoff is at 15h00.