26 March 2018 – Fresh from lifting the inaugural Four Nations tournament in Zambia over the weekend, Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has hailed the exercise as a resounding success and very fruitful as the mentor continues to assemble a youthful and formidable Bafana Bafana squad.
South Africa was part of a quartet of Southern African nations competing at the Four Nations tournament held in Ndola, Zambia from 21-24 March 2018 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium where they emerged victorious following a gripping 2-0 triumph over the hosts on Saturday.
Baxter had assembled a squad comprising youth and experience for this tournament. Some of the exciting talent included the likes of Siphesihle Ndlovu (21), Ryan Moon (21), Motjeka Madisha (23), Teboho Mokoena (21), Reeve Frosler (20) and Maphosa Modiba (22) who were all given a run during the tournament.
“This was indeed a fruitful exercise for the technical team as well as the players. We had two highly competitive opponents in a short space of time and did well in both games. We played two different teams because we wanted everyone to play, especially the kids and they really held their own in tough conditions,” said an elated Baxter.
The 64-year-old coach remained true to his promise of giving youngsters a chance having used two completely different squads in the two matches, an exercise that has yielded good results and a huge pool of players to select from in the future.
Baxter went on to complement the standard of coaching in the PSL saying that with only one session with the players, he was able to put together two different teams that could respond to instructions and tactics in a very short period of time.
“I need to give credit to the coaches in the PSL. If you look at the time we had with the team, it was very short but for them to quickly adapt to instructions and the tactics we wanted for both matches is something to be complemented.”
The Bafana Bafana mentor said while this was a step in the right direction, there still was a lot of work that needs to be done to get Bafana Bafana back to its glory days adding the process should not be rushed and would take time to yield positive results.
Baxter and his technical team will now shift focus to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which they kicked off in style with a historic 2-0 away victory to Nigeria in Uyo.
Bafana Bafana are joint leaders of group D with Libya followed by Nigeria and Seychelles after just one round of matches.