Captain Ronwen Williams and Siyanda Xulu have been regulars on the call-up sheets for Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos, and it comes as no surprise that these players have been included in the line-up for the international friendly matches against Guinea and France this month.
The team’s first training session at Dobsonville stadium was conducted under a persistent drizzle on Monday morning and the symbolism of the day, Human Rights Day (21 March 2022), was not lost on the goalkeeper and defender.
“The day is a reminder of what was fought for in our country, for our rights and privileges and how far we have come,” said Williams. Xulu, having been out the country for more than four years, says it’s been a while since he has celebrated the day on South African Soil. “To be in the Bafana team is an honour, to play the best team in the world [France] is an honour too and to think back a couple of years this was not possible – all opportunities I take with open arms, knowing that this was not always the case for players of yesteryears.”
The team gathered in camp on Sunday (20 March 2022) and jets off to Europe on Monday night to honour the matches against Guinea in Belgium [25 March] and France in Lille [29 March] respectively. They are expected back in South Africa on 30 March.
While not every player gets the opportunity to play against the world’s best, Williams and Xulu are adamant that regardless of who they play against, it is always business as usual when they’re on the pitch, even though they admit they’re not totally immune from getting star struck.