Igesund pleased with player progress
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he is happy with the progress of his overseas-based players.
Igesund is getting ready to announce his squad for the friendly international against Brazil in Sao Paulo on September 7, his first match in charge of the team after taking over from Pitso Mosimane.
Among the players singled out for praise are Kagisho Dikgacoi, Dean Furman, Bongani Khumalo and Kamohelo Mokotjo.
Due to time constraints and a tight schedule, Igesund has not managed to go and physically watch players who ply their trade overseas, especially in Europe and has been forced to monitor them from home.
And after learning of Dikgacoi’s storming performance for Crystal Palace in their match against Second Division side Exeter City in the League Cup, the Bafana coach said he was encouraged by performances and progress of overseas players and also by the report back from their respective managers.
The former Golden Arrows midfielder scored Palace’s winner with a header just before half-time in a 2-1 victory over Exeter to progress to the next round.
Apart from the burly midfielder’s sterling show, Igesund said he had also monitored and continued to follow the likes of Oldham Athletic captain Furman who played a key role when Athletic defeated English champions Manchester City in a recent friendly match.
Both Bongani Khumalo who recently moved to Greek side PAOK and Mokotjo who plays for Dutch giants Feyenoord had also received the attention of the wily coach who insists he is merely monitoring potential candidates for the Bafana place.
“Not everyone being observed will automatically get called to the national team. This is a normal exercise in the name of fairness that I assess as many players as possible,” added the Bafana coach.
“Having said that, I must admit that I am generally happy with what I have seen from most of these players. It gives me a fantastic headache because I will have a bigger pool on which to choose from,” said Igesund.
Igesund said not only was he happy with the progress of the overseas-based players but was also encouraged by the form of many of the players in the domestic league.