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‘SA needs more players to play overseas’, says Bafana’s Lyle Foster

25 March 2022 - 13:29 By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Lyle Foster is the only European-based player in the Bafana Bafana squad to play against Guinea and France.
Lyle Foster is the only European-based player in the Bafana Bafana squad to play against Guinea and France.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana player Lyle Foster challenged more South African players to move out of their comfort zone and seek moves to European leagues for the betterment of the national team.

The 21-year-old Foster, who moved from Orlando Pirates to French team AS Monaco in 2019, is c playing for Belgian second tier side KVC Westerlo.

Foster, who is in the Bafana squad to play friendlies against Guinea on Friday night and France on Tuesday, also spent time playing in Portugal.

The youngster believes Bafana has a better chance to match football powerhouse nations and be a regular at top tournaments if they have more players plying their trade abroad compared to the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

“I definitely hope the appetite is there for them to play in Europe because the gap is so huge between our league and the leagues in Europe,” Foster said.

“The competitiveness and the way they are being run in terms of professionalism is different.

“I hope we can export more players, and I believe that will strengthen the national team when we compete at higher level tournaments and qualifiers.

“We will have the experience of facing people from different countries and different internationals rather than always playing in the PSL against one another for five years.

“Playing in Europe does make your skin tougher and you are more ready for the challenges you are going to face,” the player said.

In their 23 man squad to play Guinea and France, Bafana only has three players who are playing outside the country.

Those players are attackers Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who plays for Minnesota in US, Fagrie Lakay, who plays for Pyramids of Egypt,  and Foster.

Foster's sentiments were well supported by Bafana coach Hugo Broos as he said players need to be more ambitious.

“If you are a player or a coach, the only thing you want to achieve is the highest level. I had the opportunity as a player to play in a World Cup and I had the opportunity as a coach to win the Afcon. You do it for those things,” said Broos, who won the Afcon with Cameroon in 2017.

“Once you have the experience to play for such things, win such things then you know why you are a player and why you are a coach.

“You want to have the highest thing to win and if you don’t have these ambitions you have to stop and play with friends every week and have a drink after the game and have fun,” he said.

“This is serious, this is a job. Whatever job you do you have to do it to the highest level. Also for players and coaches, if you don’t have that ambition, stop because there is no use to go on because you don’t know what you are missing.

“Like now, we are going to play against the world champions. It’s not everyone who is getting that chance.”

Bafana’s game against Guinea in Kortrijk, Belgium will kickoff at 7pm (SA time).


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