11 July 2022 – “I am ready to pounce on all of my opportunities, should I be given a chance to play.”
This is according to Bafana Bafana forward Boitumelo Radiopane, who said that the COSAFA Cup was one tournament he could not afford to lose following his disappointments with the SA national Under-17s (Amajimbos) in Mauritius, back in 2018.
Amajimbos finished second in that COSAFA Under-17 Men’s Champions to eventual champions Angola, losing 1-0 in the final.
The 19-year-old has since grown in leaps and bounds from that experience, though, finishing as both the Top Goalscorer and Player of the Season in the PSL’s reserve league in the 2020/21 season. It is in these experiences that Radiopane stated he intends to draw strength and excel for Bafana Bafana in this year’s championship.
“This is not my first COSAFA tournament, having last featured in the 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Men’s Champions edition,” Radiopane said. “We lost to Angola in the final and no one was happy with that outcome. I for one, have since grown from it, hence why I am here.
“The selection process for the Bafana Bafana squad has not been an easy one because there were a whole lot of talented players to choose from in the provisional squad,” Radiopane added. “I am just grateful to be here and my focus now is to do well for the nation in this tournament, starting with the Mozambique game. I take my opportunities very seriously, and you can bet that, should I be given the nod to play; I’m going to make full use of it.
“We are the defending champions and it is upon us to ensure that we emulate last year’s Bafana Bafana squad by winning and defending this title.”
Meanwhile, Radiopane said he’s been one of the fortunate few to have been developed by Orlando Pirates, adding that they have paid special attention in his growth and progression as a player. The Gauteng-born forward also stated that his loan move to Cape Town Spurs will serve as a perfect opportunity to learn from one of the country’s best strikers it has ever produced, in coach Shaun Barttlet.
“I would like to thank my club (Orlando Pirates) for paying special attention to my growth and development as a player,” Radiopane said. “Coach Mandla Ncikazi was the one who promoted me into the Reserve League. I’ve done well there and now they have presented me with another opportunity to grow at Cape Town Spurs in the NFD. Coach Shaun is one of the top strikers the country has ever produced and I’ve looked up to him ever since I was young. Now I’ll be learning from him first hand and I can’t wait for that experience.”