Wed, 15 Jul 2020

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why there are only four players from Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates combined in the national team.

Innocent Maela and Thembinkosi Lorch are the Pirates representatives, while Chiefs have Erick Mathoho and Lebogang Manyama in the squad, the latter being a late replacement for Themba Zwane, who withdrew through injury.

Eyebrows were raised at the shortage of players from South Africa's two biggest football clubs in the national setup, but Ntseki says it makes sense as the Soweto giants have failed to win any major trophies in recent years.

"I think when I was also growing up as a footballer, as a coach, I used to question myself how do you get a player in the national team," Ntseki told KickOff website.

"In the national team it's not only about the talent, but it's also about the personalities that you bring in the national team. And if you look at Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates, Sundowns, all the big teams that we had in the past, they used to recruit the best players, not only in terms of talent but in terms of personality.

"So, they had a very strong personality, they had very strong characters coming into the game. You talk of Doctor Khumalo, who was a highly celebrated player, but on the day, he would give you his best, he would never disappoint anyone, very consistent.

"So, I think currently if we can have more consistent performances from the players coming from those clubs, we will have more of them in the national team.

"If you look currently at Sundowns they've been very consistent, that is why they had more numbers of players in the national team. If you look at Bidvest Wits, they've been very consistent, that is why they had more numbers in the national team.

"Even when you look back during the times of coach Shakes (Mashaba) and coach Stuart (Baxter) ... then you have SuperSport that has been very consistent, that is why you see more of their players in the national team."

South Africa kick-off their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying campaign against Ghana on Thursday.

Kick-off will be at 21:00 (SA time).

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