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Bafana Bafana player's big career move excites former coach Shakes Mashaba

By Mahlatse Mphahlele | 2017-08-23 11:28:52.0

Shakes Mashaba, coach of South Africa celebrates with the fans during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba says Rivaldo Coetzee’s dream move to Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic is testament to his undoubted potential.

Mashaba‚ who handed 20-year old Coetzee his Bafana Bafana debut in the crucial 2015 Afcon qualifier against Congo three years ago‚ describes Coetzee as a ‘complete’ defender who will thrive overseas if he continues to work hard.

“It is a good thing for him to get this opportunity of playing at the highest level of the game in Europe‚" Mashaba said.

"He must go there and stomach everything that life in a foreign country is going to throw at him like the unusual weather‚ different food‚ lifestyle and many other things because. It is not going to be easy for him.”

Mashaba said when he first saw Coetzee playing at an under-17 tournament‚ he was impressed by his physical attributes and general play where he showed all-round abilities of a modern footballer.

“When I saw him‚ I liked his physical strength because he never shied away from getting stuck in and he was never bullied by opponents.

"He was not stereotypical like most players because he could perform many other functions on the field‚” said Mashaba.

“In one of the matches‚ I played him in the midfield and he impressed me with his first touch‚ control of the ball and general reading of the game where he managed to find gaps.

"To me he is a complete player and he will do well overseas if he continues to learn and show the right attitude.

"I don’t know him well off the field and but he has always come across as a respectful boy whenever I encountered him in the national team.”

Safa president Danny Jordaan also wished Coetzee well after the realisation of his dream to play overseas.

“It is something that he wanted‚ he saw as a dream for himself and we want to wish him all the best‚" Jordaan said.

"You talk about deep rural areas‚ which is where our partnership with La Liga is going to focus on‚ and Rivaldo comes from a rural area called Kakamas in the Northern Cape.

"Some of our best players come from the rural areas and we must not overlook the fact that they too have ambitions to play for Bafana Bafana‚ overseas and be big stars.” - SowetanLIVE