31 May 2018 – Striker Luther Singh says they have a talented group of players in the Bafana Bafana squad to do well in the 2018 COSAFA Cup tournament that is currently underway in Polokwane.
South Africa has been in a training camp since Saturday, 26 May and will only join the tournament in the quarter final stage – with a clash against the winners of Group A, which consists of Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Seychelles, while Botswana, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi make up Group B.
That match takes place on Sunday, 3 June at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium at 15h00.
Singh has been recalled into the Bafana Bafana squad after making his debut in March 2017 in a 0-0 draw against Angola in East London.
“Its an honour to be back in the national team again. It has been a while because of the talent we have in this country, so you will never know who will be called up to Bafana Bafana. There have been good players called up not because they are liked but because they are talented. I was just working hard as I also love representing my country and we know that not everyone can get a call up. I have been improving myself to be a better person, a better player and I knew the opportunity would come again. It was just a matter of time, I just had to be patient,” said Singh from the Bafana Bafana base camp in Polokwane.
It is the first time Singh works under head coach Stuart Baxter and he says he has enjoyed every minute of it. He adds that for Bafana Bafana to do well, they have to work as a unit.
“There’s a good mixture in the squad of less experienced players and those who have been here before. I think with the group we have we can do well in the tournament if we work together as a team. We know it won’t be easy but I believe in the group we have and the technical team, and if we play as a unit I don’t think there is anyone that can stop us,” added Singh.
And he is no stranger to the COSAFA Cup tournament, having played at the U20 level and lost 2-1 to Zambia in 2016. But he walked away with the Top Goal scorer of the Tournament.
“This is now a different level and its not the same as U20 but you learn from the experience that you get here. Grab it with both hands because such a chance may not come again. But I would like this time to be better because we came second at u20, we played the best football that we could play in the tournament, unfortunately we only lost one that game in the final, where it mattered the most,” said Singh.
The forward comes into the Bafana Bafana in high spirits after he had just signed a five-year contract with Primeira Liga side Braga FC in Portugal, where he has been playing his club football for the B Team.
“It’s been coming, I have trained with the first team many times and have travelled with the team on several occasions but have mainly played in the B team the whole season. It was a just a matter of being patient, working hard everyday at training and showing that I can play in the first team and I knew someday it would come, I wasn’t sure it would come so soon and I will take it with both hands,” said an elated Singh.
Braga FC will be competing in the Europa League, and Singh believes he is getting closer to realising his dream of playing in the EUFA Champions League.
“This is a different level. The first team plays in the Europa League, and that has always been my dream to play in one of these top competitions. Now I have the opportunity in front of me – I just have to learn from my teammates and fit in well with the group and good things will come my way,” he said.
“When the day comes for me to play in the competition, it will be a dream come true for me as it is really important for me to play against the best players. Words can’t describe how I will feel when that day comes but I know it will be an honour for me to represent my team, and South Africa in a big competition like that which is a stepping stone to play UEFA Champions League. This past season we were close to play the play-offs but we never made it. God willing we will be there next season.”
FACT FILE – LUTHER SINGH
Born: 23 March, 1990
Club: Sporting Braga (Portugal)
National team debut: v Angola, friendly international, 28 March, 2017
Caps per club: Sporting Braga (Portugal) 1
Singh is a product of Farouk Khan’s Stars of Africa Academy. He signed for Swedish second-tier side GAIS in June 2015 and made an immediate impact with the side. He was tracked by a number of teams in top European leagues and signed for Sporting Braga in Portugal in January 2017 and was top-scorer at the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships and 2017 African Under-20 Championships.
National Team Games Statistics
|v Angola 0-0||friendly international||replaced by Dolly at halftime|