20 July 2017 – Bafana Bafana midfielder Sipho Mbule says they will not disappoint their fans when they face Botswana in the second leg of the 2018 CHAN qualifiers.
Mbule is itching for action after he did not play in the 2-0 first leg win in Francistown this past weekend (Saturday, 15 July).
He is yet to be capped for Bafana Bafana but has been ever-present in the U20 National Team setup in recent times.
Mbule featured for Amajita in the 2016 COSAFA U20 Youth Championship, travelled to Zambia earlier this year for the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations, and was part of the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in Korea. He has also played in the 2016 Durban U19 International Tournament.
“Now I am with Bafana Bafana, which is something big as well for me. I really did not expect to make it so early but I am really happy to be here, and it shows progress from my side from the U20 National Team to Bafana Bafana. Come to think of it, I was very nervous when I heard about the U20 call-up back then,” said Mbule.
“I managed to play in the team that took part in the qualifiers and even though the team kept on changing, I remained in the squad. Then we played in the AFCON, the same thing happened, players came and went and I was still there. The biggest of them all was the World Cup in Korea, even though we didn’t come back with satisfying results, we did well.”
Mbule adds that they need to maintain their winning run against Botswana.
“I believe we will do well. Just like we matched them in Botswana, I have a feeling we will do the same here at home, I don’t think they will be able to defeat us. We must just follow the coach’s instructions because he knows very well what will win us the match, so if we stick to the necessary then we should get another victory like we did in Botswana. The game was good, and we felt under serious pressure as we were not playing at home, but we still managed to get the two goals,” added Mbule.
The Supersport United midfielder would very much like to be part of the second leg to complete a great journey in a short space of time.
“That would be a very big thing for me, more so because it will be my first game. But I won’t put myself under pressure, I will continue with the good work I did at U20 because that’s what brought me here to Bafana Bafana,” said Mbule.
“But playing at home will be more pressure because all the supporters will be here and expecting victory, and that will put the team under a lot of pressure to perform well, but I can tell you now we will not disappoint them, we will continue where we left off in Botswana.”
He says playing for the Senior Men’s National Team would be great for his career.
“It helps a lot, everyone wants to be at Bafana Bafana and being here is a great exposure and the teams can have a look at here. It also put pressure on your club that this player was selected to the national team so maybe he can offer us something on the field,” he said.
The second leg is scheduled for Saturday, 22 July 2017 at the Moruleng Stadium in the North West province.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
Members of the media and public can download a copy of the match programme by clicking here