Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo says that while it is disappointing to not have all the players called up available, it is now an opportunity for those who are here to do the job when they meet Ghana on Thursday in the Afcon qualifiers.
Due to Covid-19, Overseas clubs have not released Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero and Dean Furman, four players who Hlatshwayo says are part of the core of the squad.
But the Orlando Pirates defender says they must now help the new players settle in, and he is confident they are more than capable of doing the job against Ghana, who Hlatshwayo reminds us have also been affected by the problem.
“We are disappointed not to have the guys that we started with, because I mean, some of them they’ve been long with the Bafana team and they form part of the core of the team,” Hlatshwayo said on Monday.
“But no one’s guaranteed a the place in the national team. It’s our team, it’s your team, and other players’, who are not here, be it injury or any other thing, it’s an opportunity for others.”
“So whoever is here, with the guidance of the other guys who have been in the national team regularly, to make sure that they settle as quick as possible because you don’t have time in the national team and they are capable of doing the job, because they’ve been chosen because they’re one of the best players in the team that we have currently.”
“And obviously playing against Ghana, it has also hit them also, there’s players not coming just like our best players not joining the team, and it’s for us is to focus on ourselves and make sure that we do well, to keep the record that we’ve been on.”
“It’s important for us as a country to go back to the Afcon and whoever we meet against Ghana, whether we know them or we don’t know them.”
“But it’s to focus on us and make sure that we get through.”