Ethan Brooks will head into his second consecutive Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup tournament in as many years as but will be required to take up a leadership role amongst a very youthful Bafana Bafana.
Durban – 20-year-old Ethan Brooks will head into his second consecutive Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup tournament in as many years as but will be required to take up a leadership role amongst a very youthful Bafana Bafana.
The national team Assistant Coach Helman Mkhelele named his final 23 man squad on Friday, a group that is made up of national under-23 players as they look to prepare for next year’s Olympic qualifiers.
Brooks, who recently earned himself a move to Durban based side Amazulu FC believes the tournament is a great tool to use as they look to gain experience against all kinds of competition and he understands that he will probably have to take up a different role this time around playing with teammates in the same age group.
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“It was a great experience for me, last year was great for me, guys who were older than me I got to learn a lot from them and the tournament itself,” he told the SAFA media team.
“Going into this one, I’ve got guys my age and it’s also going to be a great experience for them as well – learning a lot. We’re going to play against guys bigger, much older than us but it’s going to be a great experience for us as well.
Bafana head into this tournament as one of the favourites despite arriving with a completely different side to the one that claimed the honours last year in Gqebherha.
Brooks believes his teammates are approaching the showpiece in Durban with the right frame of mind and they are dead set on retaining this year’s edition of the COSAFA Cup.
“I think we had a winning mentality from day one when we walked in, everyone understood what we wanted to achieve; winning the tournament. I feel like that should be our mandate as well, wanting to defend the title,” he said.
The Johannesburg born midfielder is yet to find the back of the net for the national team in his nine caps and hopes he could break that duck as soon as possible.
“Personally I’d like to score, that’s one achievement I’ve been wanting in the league, but something also I want to achieve in the (COSAFA) tournament,” he said.
South Africa will start the defence of their COSAFA Cup title against Mozambique in the quarter-finals on July 13.