Tag Archives: Bafana Bafana

The Dual Citizenship Bafana Bafana, In An Alternative Universe

The results have been less than impressive, losing 4 competitive fixtures out of 7, at international level, is tantamount to regression, especially when one looks closely at the team selection and tactics deployed. The 7 Lessons From 7 Games We Can't Build For 2022 With 27+ Year Old New Internationals We Can't Play A High Line With Slow Defenders We Can't Counter Press Without A Natural No: 10 We Can't Keep Playing Without Recognized Elite Strikers We Can't Call-Up Foreign Based Players To Warm The Bench We Can't Keep Shunning Foreign Born Players We Can't Keep Overestimating The PSL Standard Click To Tweet

The dust has barely settled, on yet another failed major international tournament qualification attempt, while Stuart Baxter remains adamant that he will see his tenure through, and only resign if the team fails to qualify for the 2019 African Cup Of Nations, the entire football fraternity remains in doubt, regarding the direction our senior men’s national team has been heading. Another major tournament, where we are forced to adopt nations to support, due to our own failure to manage our vast resources adequately, it’s become a bad habit, that needs to be addressed.

Baxter raised many eyebrows, when he confessed to having no written mandate from SAFA, when he took over, a far cry from the Vision 2022 ideal, that we have all been grading the system upon; the lack of a mandate, should’ve been evident in Baxter’s team selections, for some of the most pivotal clashes in his spell thus far. Only once has Baxter started a game, with an XI that was average aged 26, the “max” age for us to be blooding player in, as we build for the next International cycle, while being competitive today, like our adopted World Cup nation Nigeria did successfully.

#TheBootRoom

Stuart Baxter | May 4th, 2017 –

Played: 7
Won: 2
Lost: 5
Scored: 9
Conceded: 12

Game 1 | Away | June 10th | 2019 AFCON Qualifier
NGR 0 – 2 RSA | Rantie & Tau Goals, Mphahlele & Dolly Assists
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 28
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 24
Key Outliers | Langerman (31) & Furman (29) In Starting XI
Verdict | Off Vision 2022, On Mission 2019

Game 2 | @Home | June 13th | Friendly International
RSA 1 – 2 ZAM | Manyama Goal, Erasmus Assist
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 26
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 24
Key Outliers | Mabunda (29) Ngoma (29) & Hlanti (27) In Starting XI
Verdict | On Vision 2022, Off Mission Job Security

Game 3 | Away | September 1st | 2018 World Cup Qualifier
CDV 2 – 1 RSA | Rantie Goal, Langerman Assist
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 27
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 28
Key Outliers | Langerman (31) & Furman (29) In Starting XI
Verdict | On Vision 2022, Off Mission 2018

Game 4 | @Home | September 5th | 2018 World Cup Qualifier
RSA 1 – 2 CDV | Jali Goal
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 29
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 28
Key Outliers | Sandilands (34), Gould (34), Kekana (32), Furman (29) & Grobler (29) In Starting XI
Verdict | Off Vision 2022, Off Mission 2018

Game 5 | @Home | October 7th | 2018 World Cup Qualifier
RSA 3 – 1 BFA | Tau, Zwane & Vilakazi Goals, Daniels, Jali & Tau Assists
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 28
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 25
Key Outliers | Daniels (33), Gould (34), Mkhize (29), Hlanti (27) & Vilakazi (28) In Starting XI
Verdict | Off Vision 2022, On Mission 2018

Game 6 | @Home | November 10th | 2018 World Cup Qualifier
RSA 0 – 2 SEN
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 29
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 27
Key Outliers | Hlanti (27), Gould (34), Daniels (33), Mkhize (29), Furman (29) & Vilakazi (28) In Starting XI
Verdict | Off Vision 2022, Off Mission 2018

Game 7 | Away | November 14th | 2018 World Cup Qualifier
SEN 2 – 1 RSA | Tau Goal, Dolly Assist
RSA Starting Lineup Average Age | 28
Opp Starting Lineup Average Age | 26
Key Outliers | Hlanti (27), Daniels (33), Gould (34), Mkhize (29), Furman (29) & Vilakazi (28) In Starting XI
Verdict | Off Vision 2022, Off Mission Job Security

The results have been less than impressive, losing 4 competitive fixtures out of 7, at international level, is tantamount to regression, especially when one looks closely at the team selection and tactics deployed.

The 7 Lessons From 7 Games

We Can’t Build For 2022 With 27+ Year Old New Internationals
We Can’t Play A High Line With Slow Defenders
We Can’t Counter Press Without A Natural No: 10
We Can’t Keep Playing Without Recognized Elite Strikers
We Can’t Call-Up Foreign Based Players To Warm The Bench
We Can’t Keep Shunning Foreign Born Players
We Can’t Keep Overestimating The PSL Standard

There are a few things I can understand, injuries and suspensions occur at any level, but a footballing nation such as ours, should have more in reserve than 30 year olds that barely dominate in our local league on a consistent basis. The tactical aspect has never been an Achilles Heel for Baxter, his Kaizer Chiefs team won playing a European influenced counter-pressing style, underpinned by experienced players in their primes, and pace provided by the youth in amply supply. His recent selections, have been head scratching to say the least, with elite talents in their prime often being overlooked, for “more experienced” peers, who have had ample opportunity at the highest level, and largely failed to help take the nation forward.

© Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Which brings me to now, the biggest draw Stuart Baxter had as Bafana coach, in today’s climate, for me personally, was his potential draw, in recruiting the plethora of South African passport holding footballers plying their trade abroad. None of which has occurred, on the contrary, Lars Veldwijk has been consistently overlooked under Baxter, when we badly needed a focal point upfront, while we saw Bradley Globler & Thamsanqa Gabuza selected instead; the same can be said at left fullback, where Kgosi Ntlhe should’ve been given a chance when Tsepo Masilela begun to age, yet he’s been constantly overlooked, to the detriment of his game, confidence and profile as a footballer. If Baxter seeks to truly help our national team, he needs to start improving the quality of our national depth chart in every single position, from now, until he leaves the hotseat. The legacy of Stuart Baxter as Bafana coach was never set to be one of accolades and silverware, he inherited an aged nucleus, with an exhausted fan base, that had all but given up hope; the time has come for him to pay it forward, and leave the next coach with a solid base of players to pick from and build with.

The Dual Citizenship Bafana | A Juxtaposed Reality | 3-3-2-1-1 “Expats United”

Key

# Player

DoB

Position/s

Nationalities

Pedigree

Current Club

National Team

 

1 Maarten van der Want 

Jan 15th, ‘95 | 22

GK
1, 91 m
Right Foot

Dutch
South African

ADO Den Haag Youth Team

Virtus Entella Olbia Calcio 1905 | Italy 🇮🇹

N/A

3 Nikola Tavares

Jan 17th, ‘99 | 18

CB
1, 76 m
Right Foot

Croatian
South African

Brentford Youth Team | Crystal Palace Youth Team

Crystal Palace | England 🇬🇧

Croatian U/18 & U/19 International

4 Keith Groeneveld

Jun 24th, ‘99 | 18

CB/ DM
1, 90 m
Right Foot

Belgian
South African

Royal Antwerp Youth Team | KV Mechelen Youth Team

Standard Lièrge | Belgium 🇧🇪

Belgian U/18 International

5 Loïc Ombala

Mar 31st, ’97 | 20

CB/ RB
1, 78 m
Right Foot

Cameroonian
South African

Team Vaud Yverdon Youth Team

FC Bavois FC Azzurri LS 90 | Switzerland 🇨🇭

N/A

2 Sylian Mokono

Mar 22nd, ’99 | 18

RB
1, 83 m
Right Foot

Dutch
South African

FC Utrecht Youth Team

FC Utrecht | The Netherlands 🇳🇱

N/A

6 Joel Untersee

Feb 11th, ’94 | 23

RB/ LB
1, 81 m
Right Foot

Swiss
South African

FC Zürich Youth Team | Juventus Youth Team | FC Vaduz

Brescia FC Empoli (On Loan From Juventus) | Italy 🇮🇹

Swiss U/15, U/16, U/17, U/18, U/19, U/20 & U/21 International

8 Phondo Wälläri

May 2nd, ’99 | 18

DLP, B2BM
Left Foot

Finnish
South African

FC Loppi | Riihimäen Palloseura | PK Keski – Uusimaa Youth Team

Pallokerho Keski – Uusimaa | Finland 🇫🇮

Finnish U/17 International

7 Siph Mdlalose

Jan 28th, ’99 | 18

RWM
1, 78 m
Right Foot

English
South African

Southampton Youth Team

Southampton | England 🇬🇧

N/A

11 Ambousoirya Mahadi

Mar 5th, ’99 | 18

LWM/ AM/ AF
Right Foot

French
South African

Olympique de Marseille Youth Team

Aubagne FC | France 🇫🇷

N/A

10 Tyrique Bartlett

Apr 14th, ’99 | 18

AF/ CF
1, 76 m
Right Foot

English
South African

University of Pretoria Youth Team

Newcastle United | England 🇬🇧

N/A

9 Marvin Graf

Aug 17th, ’95 | 22 CF
1, 88 m
Right Foot

Swiss
South African

FC Adliswil | FC Zürich Youth Team

FC Wohlen FC Zürich | Switzerland 🇨🇭

Swiss U/16, U/17, U/18 & U/19 International

12 Dani Amos

Feb 2nd, ’87 | 30

GK
1, 85 m
Right Foot

Israeli
English
South African

Kiyat Shmona | Hapoel Tel Aviv | Hapoel Acre

Maccabi Petah Tikva Maccabi Netanya | Israel 🇮🇱

Israeli U/21 International

13 Alessandro
Petrone

Oct 8th, ’96 | 21

RB/ LB
1, 87 m
Right Foot

Italian
South African

Benevento Youth Team | Torrecuso | Arzachena

Free Agent

N/A

14 Daniel Collins

Jun 15th, ’95 | 22

Utility Defender
Right Foot

Welsh
South African

Marconi | Bala Town | Wrexham | Rhyl | Colwyn Bay

Wrexham | Wales & England 🇬🇧

N/A

15 Dani Ladeira

May 28th, ’96 | 21

DLP, B2BM
1, 75 m
Right Foot

Portuguese
South African

Nacional Yout Team | Camacha | Carev Dvor

Enfield FC | England 🇬🇧

N/A

16 Max Falldorf

Mar 7th, ’98 | 19

DLP, AM, AP
1, 82 m
Left Foot

German
South African

Werder Bremen Youth Team | FC Verden Youth Team | SC Weyhe Youth Team | JFV Nordwest Youth Team

TP Uphusen | Germany 🇩🇪

N/A

17 B.J. Banda

Jun 1st, ’98 | 19

AP, AF, CF
1, 76 m
Left Foot

Irish
South African

Letterkenny Rovers | Finn Harps Youth Team

Finn Harps | Ireland 🇮🇪

N/A

18 Tom Barkhuizen

Jul 4th, ’93 | 24

AP, AF, CF
1, 75 m
Right Foot

English
South African

Blackpool | Hereford United | Fleetwood Town | Morecambe

Preston North End | England 🇬🇧

N/A

19 Marcel Lück

Jan 18th, ’96 | 21

CF
1, 86 m
Either Foot

German
South African

SuperSport United Youth Team | Stuttgarter Kickers II

VfB Oldenburg | Germany 🇩🇪

N/A

 

Written By Mallele Chidi PeTje III (@MCPeTjeIII) 

Its Winning Time; South Africa vs Gambia 2017 Afcon Qualifier

#TheGrandStandView

South African football followers should be used to this all too familiar predicament; standing on the brink of yet another failure to qualify for a major international competition, knowing that our fate rests upon us changing our fortunes while also hoping for a downturn in form for other teams in our group and a few others. It was only natural for the announcement of the squad to come with less scepticism as much of the hope has been deflated out of the nation with little to no sign of improvement in the offing from our Commander In Chief. The squad itself has some interesting inclusions and omissions with our midfield offering some exciting combinations that the gaffer can use to inspire the charges to a dominant win over Gambia, who themselves have failed to muster a win and have only scored a single goal in their 4 qualifiers in Group M thus far. South Africa are yet to win a game in the group and now would be the perfect time to show the nation that they are prepared to fight for our national pride and put on the calibre of performance that restores that deflated air of confidence within our senior national football team.

Bafana Bafana Preliminary Squad

 

Goalkeepers

Name Club Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs FC 28 1, 81m 20 Games, 20 Goals Conceded & 6 Clean Sheets
Jackson Mabokgwane Mpumalanga Black Aces FC 28 1, 75m 11 Games, 11 Goals Conceded & 4 Clean Sheets
Brighton Mhlongo Orlando Pirates FC 25 1, 87m 20 Games, 18 Goals Conceded & 7 Clean Sheets

 

Defenders

Name Club Position/s Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Ramahlwe Mphahlele Mamelodi Sundowns FC RB/CB 26 1, 76m 24 Games, 2 Assists & 2 Yellow Cards
Thabo Matlaba Orlando Pirates FC RB/LB 28 1, 69m 26 Games, 3 Goals, 3 Assist & 6 Yellow Cards
Diamond Thopola Chippa United FC RB/LB 26   27 Games, 1 Assist & 6 Yellow Cards
Mulomowandau Mathoho Kaizer Chiefs FC CB 26 1, 90m 34 Games, 5 Goals & 6 Yellow Cards
Rivaldo Coetzee Ajax Cape Town FC CB 19 1, 79m 31 Games & 5 Yellow Cards
Teboho Langerman Mamelodi Sundowns FC LB/LW/DM 30 1, 80m 32 Games, 2 Goals, 4 Assists & 5 Yellow Cards
Sifiso Hlanti BidVest Wits FC LB 26 1, 81m 12 Games, 1 Goal, 1 Assist & 1 Yellow Card

 

Midfielders

Name Club Position/s Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Hlompho Kekana Mamelodi Sundowns FC DM 30 1, 76m 37 Games, 8 Goals, 2 Assists, 6 Yellow Cards & 1 Double Yellow/Red
Andile Jali KV Oostende DM/DLP 26 1, 72m 35 Games, 1 Goal, 2 Assists & 3 Yellow Cards
Dean Furman SuperSport United FC DM/DLP 27 1, 83m 26 Games, 1 Goal, 8 Yellow Cards & 1 Double Yellow/Red
May Mahlangu Sint-Truidense VV DLP/AM/AP (L/R/C) 27 1, 73m 19 Games, 2 Goals & 1 Yellow Card
Mpho Makola Orlando Pirates FC AM/AP(L/R/C) 30 1, 70m 27 Games, 7 Goals, 2 Assists & 3 Yellow Cards
Thulani Serero AFC Ajax DLP/AM/AP (L/R/C) 26 1, 64m 22 Games, 1 Goal, 1 Yellow Card
Mandla Masango Randers FC AM/AP(L/R/C) 26 1, 70m 27 Games, 5 Goals & 2 Yellow Cards
Thapelo Morena Bloemfontein Celtic FC AM/AP/AF/CF (L/R/C) 22 1, 70m 29 Games, 6 Goals, 1 Assist
Keagan Dolly Mamelodi Sundowns FC AM/AP(L/R/C) 23 1, 70m 37 Games, 7 Goals, 7 Assists & 4 Yellow Cards
Sibusiso Vilakazi BidVest Wits FC AM/AP/AF/DLF 26 1, 70m 28 Games, 8 Goals, 3 Assists & 1 Yellow Card

 

Forwards

Name Club Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Thamsanqa Gabuza Orlando Pirates FC 28 1, 83m 18 Games, 2 Goals, 2 Assists & 3 Yellow Cards
Ndumiso Mabena Platinum Stars FC 29 1, 80m 25 Games, 10 Goals, 3 Assists, 2 Yellow Cards & 2 Red Cards
Thobani Mncwango Polokwane City FC 28 1, 80m 29 Games, 12 Goals, 1 Assist & 1 Yellow Card

 

South Africa vs Gambia 2017 African Cup of Nations Qualifier

Date: Saturday June 4th, 2016

Venue: Independence Stadium, Bakau; Gambia

The Grandstand View

The return of Ramahlwe Mphahlele will be a welcome one for many fans and players alike, Rama is arguably the best natural right full back in the Bafana fold and this window of opportunity is one the Mamelodi Sundowns skipper needs to grasp as he seeks to stake his claim for the starting role moving forward. A consistent defence offers our team a solid foundation that allows us to play more adventurously in attacking positions with the knowledge that the defensive unit is cohesive enough to deal with threats posed on the counter-attack.

Bafana Bafana are gifted with many talented midfield players that can be said to have underperformed collectively in the Green & Gold; the recall of May Mahlangu could inspire a change of fortunes within the current setup, May has matured enough to conduct that orchestra and follow-up those glimpses of brilliance he showed previously. Keagan Dolly is another marvellous talent that has been on the fringes of the senior national team setup for a while and his brilliant performances at club and junior international level have forced him into the fray and presented us with an opportunity to try some new combinations in our midfield. A naturally left-sided player has been much needed for Bafana Bafana, we can now have a far more balanced midfield that can pose more dynamic treats to the opposition and offer us more goal threats.

Regardless of how long the odds are, we have to have faith in what we can control while praying for fate to turn in our favour; a win against Gambia is essential as it gives us the morale boost we need going into the final group match against Mauritania, where another win could have us reaching for our calculators and abacuses while glancing at the permutations.

Winds Of Change; Will South African Football Embrace Lars Veldwijk & Globalisation?

LarsVeldwijk
Banging In Goals For Fun | Lars Veldwijk @ PEC Zwolle
LarsVeldwijk2
A Dream Move Turned Sour | Lars Veldwijk @ Nottingham Forest

#TheBootRoom

The spread of Globalisation as given rise to countless conversations, essays and case studies discussing the effects of the global trend on our society at length. As the years go by, we begin to see the true lasting effects of Globalisation on our planet in different spheres and differing walks of life; yet football remains one of the greatest illustrations of just how pivotal this movement of folks from all across the globe has aided in the spread of different cultures and aided in the development of the sport in the tiniest crevices of the globe and some of the biggest global superpowers.

The talent drain out of the Motherland has long been cited as one of the reasons why sustainable growth has been hard to attain on The Dark Continent, yet time has allowed us to witness many of those expats and their offspring returning home to help make Mama Africa as great as she was before she was stripped of most her glory & heritage. From the corporate sphere right through to the entertainment industry, we have many foreign born or bred South Africans that have returned home to help lead this great country into a new age of prosperity and excellence that benefits mankind as a whole. Yet somehow, many of our sporting codes have shunned foreign born or based South Africans or foreigners who qualify for South African citizenship due to a perceived lack of patriotism or an inability to sympathise with our cause as a growing nation.

The announcement of Lars Veldwijk’s desire to play for South Africa may have flown largely under the radar, mainly due to a lack of exposure to the Dutch Eredivisie, a league which has afforded may young South Africans with the perfect foundation upon which to build a successful football career. Some might attribute the lack of fanfare over an overseas nurtured forward with EU papers declaring his desire to play for Bafana Bafana to the hard to forget disappointment of getting excited over Davide Somma, only to have our hopes dashed when he did finally appear in the Green & Gold over a handful of caps; yet we would be remiss to allow such fears to potentially deprive us of an opportunity to strengthen a genuine weakness in our football.

Good strikers are as rare as an upright politician in South Africa, and that plague seems to have spread across the continent where our fellow footballing nations in Africa have begun to experience a similar shortage of elite level strikers that can prove to be the difference for a national side at the international level. The availability of a man that has proven his ability to find the back of the net at a high level is not an opportunity we should turn our collective noses up towards; Lars Veldwijk would offer us something we have not had in many moons, a Bafana Bafana forward that plays regular football at the elite level in a good league while banging in a few goals, the lad is just 24 years old and possesses good scope for growth in the years to come.

A Fledgling Career In Perspective

 

Born in Uithoorn, in the North of Holland on August 21st of 1991, Lars Veldwijk begun his footballing journey as a youth apprentice at SV Argon, whose youth ranks he joined after showing promise with the development side at Legmeervogels. The youngster was then snapped up by FC Volendam, who developed him to play professional football and handed him his pro debut as a teenager in 2011. Lars would go on to make one more appearance for the club before FC Utrecht saw his potential and gambled on the young forward in the hopes of unearthing a rough diamond that they could polish.

FC Utrecht was a tough learning curve for the towering striker as he featured in a handful of games and faced the relative ignominy of being farmed out on loan to Eertse Divisie, 2nd Division, side FC Dordrecht for the 2012-2013 season. That spell out on loan may have been the catalyst for what has transpired since, in what can only be described as a meteoric rise to prominence for Veldwijk; 14 goals in 31 games led to the youngsters’ stock rising with his impressive displays of power, touch and finishing earning him a few admirers.

A transfer to then Eerste Divisie side SBV Excelsior proved to be a shrewd one for both club and player, Lars helped guide his new side to 3rd place, 7 points behind 2nd placed FC Dordrecht. That points haul was enough to book them a place in the play-offs and the exciting Feyenoord based club stormed to promotion into the Eredivisie with a 4-2 aggregate win over RKC Waalwijk. 30 goals in 38 games for The Kralingers was more than enough to persuade Nottingham Forest to part with £500,000 in June of 2014 to take Lars over to England in a deal that could rise to £1m if various clauses are fulfilled

Lars struggled to find his feet at the City Ground and his failure to find the net in 14 appearances for the club has led many Forest supporters to doubt if their man is really worth all the hype and money; yet a loan move back home to Holland has seen may for those doubters call for him to be given another chance to prove his quality at the club. Ambitious Eredivisie club PEC Zwolle procured the services of Veldwijk on loan for the 2015/2016 season with an option to by the player outright at the end of his current loan spell; an impressive return of 12 goals and 7 assists in 27 games sees Lars sitting 9th on the goalscorers chart, 7 goals away from tied leaders Luuk de Jong and Vincent Janssen, of PSV and AZ Alkmaar respectively.

PEC Zwolle are currently overachieving in 9th place, 2 points off the Europa League Playoff qualifying spots with 5 games remaining in the league season, with a young squad that has an average age of 23, the club and its players seem primed to continue their development in the football realm. Lars has made his desire to play for South Africa public, the lad qualifies for citizenship through his father, who holds a South African passport; the ball is now in the court of SAFA, Coach Shakes Mashaba and the Mzansi football fraternity as a whole, are we ready to do all we can to make this talented striker a Bafana player or will we continue to fight against the winds of change brought about by Globalisation?

Bio

DoB: August 21st, 1991 (24)

PoB: Uithoorn, North Holland; Netherlands

Nationalities: Dutch, South African

National Team Record: N/A

Position/s: Advanced Forward, Complete Forward, Target-Man

Height: 1. 96m

Preferred Foot: Right

Club: PEC Zwolle (On loan from Nottingham Forest)

Club Jersey No: #9

Contract Expiry: June 30th, 2017

Market Value: £1,35m

Development Nests: Legmeervogels, SV Argon

Previous Clubs: FC Volendam, FC Utrecht, FC Dordrecht (Loan), SBV Excelsior, Nottingham Forest

 

The Numbers

 

Games Goals Assists
2015/16 27 12 7
Career 136 68 26