Shakes Mashaba defends Gauteng Ke Yona snub

09 August 2018 - 16:01 By Sihle Ndebele
Former Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba.
Former Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba.
Image: Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan

Gauteng province is always seen as the country's catalyst for opportunities in almost every aspect of life.

This is why it comes as a shock that this year's Ke Yona Team has no representative from the province.

Since the inception of the Ke Yona Team search in 2013‚ Gauteng has always boasted more than two players.

One of the Ke Yona Team mentors Shakes Mashaba suggested that Gauteng lads did not make the cut this year because of the many tournaments in the province that might have clashed with the Ke Yona Team search tryouts.

The ex-Bafana Bafana tactician‚ however‚ did not see Gauteng's exclusion as a big deal.

"Maybe by the time we were searching for players in this province the best players were participating in other tournaments.

"It must be a matter of timing‚" Mashaba said at the Ke Yona Team reveal function in Sandton this week.

"I know that that there's no Gauteng player in the Ke Yona Search Team and yes you can say it's strange but SA is big, not only about Gauteng.

"It's not about Gauteng but about nurturing players countywide."

Mashaba is also optimistic that this year's crop of players are capable of beating the Nedbank Cup title- holders Free State Stars at Makhulong Stadium on September 9.

The Ke Yona Team has never won this match against the Nedbank champions.

"We are positive we'll beat Free State Stars‚" he said.

"Last year‚ against SuperSport United‚ we scored and this time around we are going to win.

"We are so confident we'll get our first victory this year.

"The talent is there as always but now as coaches we've grown and took lessons‚" noted Mashaba.