Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki left a lot of football-loving fans with questions after announcing his 26-man squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan later in March.
A section of supporters wasn’t too pleased about the exclusion of Swallows defender Njabulo Ngcobo, who has impressed and played a starring role in defence to help ‘The Birds’ get off to a flying start in their return to the Premier Division.
The steady tall central defender has ensured that Swallows have the second-best defensive record in the DStv Premiership this season – they’ve conceded 12 goals in 17 league matches, behind only Sundowns (seven conceded in 16 games).
Ntseki has explained the reasons behind his decision to leave the Swallows defender out of his latest squad.
“We have also looked into Ngcobo but if you look at the centre-back it is a very crucial and difficult position that you can just bring anybody in like we did with Rushine De Reuck in the last camp,” said Ntseki on Thursday in his squad announcement at Safa House.
“These are the type of players that we will be bringing in overtime because a centre-back is a position that needs a lot of brains, lots of experience because any mistake you make at that level is a goal.”
Ngcobo, also known as ‘Roadblock’ has featured in all 17 league matches for Swallows, while making clean and well-timed tackles and spotting danger.
“Let me make an example of Ngcobo playing against Jordan Ayew, (Crystal Palace forward), the intelligence of such a player, the experience and you have to play him against Ngcobo. You have to protect your players, give them time to develop into quality Bafana Bafana players,” added Ntseki.
Bafana host Ghana at FNB Stadium on Thursday‚ March 25, and Sudan in Khartoum on Tuesday‚ March 30. Ntseki’s troops occupy second spot in Group C with the Black Stars at the top of the group.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi