Teko Modise offers advice for players donning the Bafana shirt at the moment
Former Bafana Bafana international Teko Modise has some advice for the players representing the national team at the ongoing Cosafa Cup in Polokwane‚ Limpopo.
"Dona"‚ to his fans and those closest to him‚ has been watching the tournament with keen interest.
“They have had an opportunity to play a couple of games‚ which is good for them.
"I would tell them that if they have ambitions to play for Bafana Bafana’s first team‚ they must take the tournament very‚ very seriously‚” Modise told TimesLIVE.
The Cosafa Cup is the same stage that introduced Modise to international football.
He was named the Cosafa Player of the Tournament in 2007 after SA won the event by beating Zambia 4-3 on penalties in Bloemfontein.
He went on to win 66 Bafana Bafana caps and scored 10 goals.
The current team was knocked out on penalties by Madagascar in the quarterfinals stage‚ something that didn’t go down very well with Modise.
But Bafana recovered to beat Namibia 4-1 in the semifinals of the plate format‚ which is contested by teams that lost in the last eight.
Bafana will now face Botswana in the Plate final at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday [3pm].
“It’s a stage to prove you are ready for international football‚ because the PSL and the international stage are two different things‚" Modise said.
“And many players don’t understand the difficulties and the challenges of playing on the international stage.
“In the PSL‚ you play against players you know and teams that you watch on a regular basis.
"At national level‚ you meet players that you don’t know and by doing so‚ you need to perform better than you do in the PSL.
"So many players take their club performance to the national team and that’s wrong.
"You need to understand that for the national team you need to be at your best at all times‚” he said.
Modise‚ now 35‚ has named Maritzburg United duo Lebohang Maboe‚ who scored a brace against Namibia‚ and Fortune Makaringe among the Bafana players that have impressed him.
"I've also been impressed by the boy who plays in Egypt‚ Gift Links‚" he said.
"So Maboe‚ Makaringe and Links have caught my eye.
“I’ve been following their games and I think they could do better.
"Our team is one of the best assembled teams‚ but we haven’t really justified that with the results.
"But most of them are learning and probably don’t understand where they are. I just wish they can realise the potential they have.
“For nna [me]‚ I used [the Cosafa Cup] as a stepping stone‚ because I wanted to play for a big [local] team and the senior [Bafana] team.
"Fortunately‚ I was given an opportunity to play. Actually‚ I became the player of the tournament‚ so that on its own opened so many doors for me‚” Modise added.