Another wasted chance!
By Freestate On 11 Jul, 2013 At 01:50 PM | Categorized As Sport | With 0 Comments

THERE has been such a big hullabaloo about clubs refusing to release players called up by Bafana bafana coach Gordon Igesund for the Cosafa Castle Cup on the pretext that the regional tournament would destabilise their pre-season plans.
Yet that is not the real issue we should be wasting our time on.

Anyone with football at heart would admit the tournament is very important for the nurturing of our talent.
One would expect Igesund to grab such a big chance with both hands with the 2018 World Cup at the back of his mind.
But what does the gaffer expect us to make of his decision to pick mostly players who would have retired from the game by that time?
Take for example goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and defender Bevan Fransman.
Both are 30 — and by 2018 they will be 35 and well past their prime.

It is clear that by taking the “tried and tested” — read ageing — players Igesund wants to win the tournament at all costs to save his job after he failed to rescue Bafana’s campaign for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The South African Football Association (Safa) should not be allowing this nonsense.
When we talk about the mother body not being serious about our game, this is exactly what we mean.
Safa should have made it clear to Igesund that the Cosafa Cup is a development tournament and that bare fact should be reflected in his squad selection.

Just as well clubs, citing “fatigue” and other reasons, withdrew Ronwen Williams, Thabo Nthethe, Tefu Mashamaite, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Tebogo Langerman, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and Kermit Erasmus.
The naked truth is that we would not have needed those players at the Cosafa Cup, starting in Zambia this weekend.
If Safa wanted us to take its plans for the future seriously, it would have ordered Igesund to take a squad of young talent with him to the tournament.

Even before the 2018 World Cup, we have the 2016 Olympic Games as well as the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals to worry about.
Who will take us there, for we will definitely not enjoy the luxury of automatically participating in those big events as hosts as has happened in the recent past?

It’s time we focused on our youth teams to identify and nurture real talent that can carry our flag high on the global stage.
Without that, South Africa will continue sliding to the backwaters of international football.
It’s now or never!

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