Supersport's Bafana players expected to slot easily back into club for Confed Cup final

19 November 2017 - 14:19 By Marc Strydom
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter alongside midfielder Dean Furman. File photo.
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter alongside midfielder Dean Furman. File photo.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

SuperSport United striker Bradley Grobler believes that the team’s heavy-travelling Bafana Bafana internationals will slot easily back into their club for Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup final first leg match against TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.

Grobler‚ Dean Furman‚ Clayton Daniels and Ronwen Williams only arrived back in South Africa on Thursday evening from Bafana’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat against Senegal in Dakar on Tuesday night.

They had a night’s sleep‚ then would have been up before the crack of dawn on Friday for a 6am flight to Lubumbashi.

They then‚ frustratingly‚ had to wait for five hours with the rest of SuperSport as the SAA flight was delayed because of a landing rights issue in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Grobler arrived at OR Tambo International Airport looking particularly red-eyed on Thursday after a long flight from Dakar.

The striker‚ though‚ was in upbeat spirits that SuperSport’s travelling Bafana brigade would fit back into Eric Tinkler’s slickly-trained side without too many problems.

“It’s been a long 10 days to be honest‚” Grobler said after his return from a Bafana camp that also incorporated last Friday’s 2-1 defeat against Senegal in Polokwane.

“But I think we’re all professionals so travelling is what we do pretty much our whole lives. At least we travelled two days early [to Lubumbashi] so we could train for two days before.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect the team too much. We pretty much know what we’re doing. We’ve started building something good with the team now.

“And it’s just about keeping that going. Obviously it’s not ideal to be away for so long before a big game like this.

“But everyone’s professional‚ everyone knows their job. We’re struggling with a few injuries which is not going to help us. But‚ ja‚ I think we’re ready for it.”

SuperSport‚ who have key performers Morgan Gould‚ at centreback‚ and Reneilwe Letsholonyane‚ in midfield‚ suspended along with some notable inuries‚ also picked up this year’s 10-goal Confed top scorer Jeremy Brockie at OR Tambo on Friday morning.

Brockie had an even more marathon travel schedule in the week‚ having been a substitute in New Zealand’s 2-0 World Cup playoff defeat against Peru in Lima on Wednesday.

SuperSport trained on an artificial surface in the heat of Rustenburg for the Astroturf they will encounter at their opponents’ notorious 18 000-seater Stade TP Mazembe on Sunday (kickoff: 3.30pm SA and DRC time).