15 July 2021 – Aubrey Baartman has been the Bafana Bafana team HOD (Head of Delegation) for three consecutive games. 

A man who hails from Springbok in the Northern Cape and has had a love for football since a young boy. And while he started his life-long love affair with the sport as a player, it seems football had other plans for him, ushering him into a leadership role over the years. 

Not only is he the longest standing NEC (National Executive Council) member for eleven years running, he is also the President of the Namaqua Football Region and Chairperson of SAFA (South African Football Association) Northern Cape. His wealth in the game cemented in his leadership style and the last three wins for Bafana are proof that the tide has turned for this team.

“It is a privilege to serve my country, to see the national team rise and to be a part of a winning team. They are the hope the nation needs now, and we will see great triumphs because of their hunger to succeed,” Team HOD, Baartman.

He admits that it’s not an easy feat and although his job title radiantly sparkles, he understands that without pressure there are no diamonds.

In the Cosafa tournament, an ebb and flow could be felt, due mainly to the Novel Corona Virus, breaking the usual consistency of the camp, with the effects of a third wave in the country a reflection of what was seen on the bench against Botswana. 

“Difficulties saw the team let go of three players and the two Coaches infected with Covid-19 where immediately isolated. In the first two matches we only had three subs but against the odds we focused on what we had – not on what we didn’t, and that is determination,” explains the HOD.

When a team collectively pulls together regardless of their job spec and assists in every way possible, that is when true nature and character are exposed, and this is what the entire country witnessed in the last three games. “This is the team of the future and I am beyond proud to be a part of it,” Aubrey Baartman exclaims.

The HOD boasts about his teams winning mentality as he leads with the same emotions that every football lover in South Africa has… Anxiety, nervousness, passion but most importantly belief that this team will go on to hoist the trophy come the final.

The Head Of Delegation is the team’s lucky diamond and spoken like a true leader this HOD who might just be the team’s lucky charm maintains, “Just like a diamond despite the odds this team cannot be broken.”