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Ntseki irked by the break

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“It is a setback for the whole world, which is going through what can be defined as a very sad period for sports”

Molefi Ntseki, coach of South Africa. Picture: Muzi Ntombela BackpagePix

BAFANA Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is choosing to look on the bright side of things.

While he is as frustrated as anyone else about having to sit idle while waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to dissipate, South Africa’s senior men’s national team coach believes things can only get better.

Ntseki was ready for the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe which have since been postponed. But he believes that it will be good to have regular international action when the time to catch up arrives.

Tactical cohesion

“We will at least get to play a lot of matches in a short period and that will bring about the rhythm and the right tactical cohesion,” Ntseki said.

“If you look at the current Fifa calendar, we only play for two to three months. Whenever you have the players in camp, you are working on certain tactical and technical aspects of the game.

“If we don’t play the match, it is affecting the team in a bad way. If we will be playing matches back-to-back, in a way, it will help our team and our players to have a better understanding of what you want to see from them,” Ntseki explained.

He acknowledged, though, that the break is frustrating.

“It is a setback for the whole world, which is going through what can be defined as a very sad period for sports,” Ntseki said.

The new Bafana coach was compelled to cancel the national training camp as a result of the lockdown.

“We can’t even tell when are we going to resume with our sporting activities,” he said. “It is really a setback because we had already announced the team that was to play against Sao Tome. Unfortunately that has been cancelled or suspended. The players and all of us were looking forward to playing that match. It is not happening and it is really a setback for all of us,” he added.

Players from all over the world are still in the dark as to when they will be back in action.

“The players will have to play catch-up in their domestic leagues and at the same time they have to come and play for their respective national teams,” Ntseki said.

“It will be more of an overload on the side of the players, whether mentally or physically. But it is going to be an overload.

“We are just hopeful that whenever we are over this period, players will go back fresh and then do well for their clubs.

“We will then start again profiling them accordingly to bring them in to the national team.”

The Bafana coach is not resting on his laurels, though, and is working diligently behind the scenes.

“We should be in camp preparing for Sao Tome. But now we are going through the videos and clips of our past matches against Ghana and Sudan. We are also looking at the clips of Sao Tome.

“At least we are using this time to profile our opponents, individual players and our team so that whenever we resume with our camp or with our domestic leagues, we will be able to represent ourselves when we face Ghana, Sao Tome or Sudan.

“We need to know where we are and which areas of our game we need to improve.”