Bafana coach Ntseki seeks positives in coronavirus lockdown


Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki admits that he is trying to look on the bright side of life amid the coronavirus crisis as he spends time readings football books, analysing past games, researching on future opponents and reflecting.

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 1877 people in South Africa as of June 20, 2020, and the number of those infected continue to climb – 92 681 with 50 326 recoveries.

However, Ntseki is optimistic that the deadly virus will be a thing of the past soon.

“I have been doing a lot of reading – books on football and on life in general. I have had time to reflect on the challenges ahead and perhaps how to tackle them. I have also been watching a lot of past football matches without any pressure, and doing analysis accordingly,” said the Bafana coach.

“I have been in contact with coaches about some of the players, to find out how they are doing, how they are coping. So, it has been a busy period indeed,” – Ntseki. 

“We have been doing a lot of more research on our AFCON opponents – especially Sao Tome who we know little about – we had to dig deeper to get more information. We also didn’t forget out World Cup opponents – spoke to other coaches to see how much they knew about them.”

Bafana Bafana were last in action on 17 November 2019 in the 1-0 victory over Sudan in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers and Ntseki says the break-in play will give injured players more time to recover.

“Let us start with the negatives – we didn’t get a chance to play what I believe was a strong team as we were pumped up for the Sao Tome clash.

“Everybody was eagerly looking forward to that match because if you do the math, we know that back to back wins would have pushed us to nine points with two games remaining, now the momentum may be gone,” Ntseki. Picture:

“The positives – remember we hit the ground running as a team, played against Ghana and Sudan, did some analysis on those matches while looking forward to the next fixtures, so there was no time to rest but now here we are taking stock of the past in a relaxed way and plotting out the future with good analysis,” added Ntseki.

“The other positive is that the players that missed out on the squad because of injury or loss of form have a chance to recover without pressure.

“They are able to do rehab without worrying about the next match. This situation has given us time to work on ourselves, and also profile opponents properly,” he concluded.

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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi

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