Unsettled Nhlapo happy at Bafana

For Bidvest Wits' unsettled defender Siyabonga Nhlapo, wearing the Bafana Bafana jersey is always a pleasure irrespective of the magnitude of the game.

Nhlapo is excited to be in the squad that will do duty against Botswana in a Chan qualifier on Saturday in Francistown Stadium (3.30pm). The squad depart today for the first leg.

The return fixture is set for July 22 at Moruleng Stadium.

Though some people have dubbed Chan - African Nations Championship - "less-prestigious", the 28-year-old defender is not being discouraged by that tag.

"For me, a call-up is always a call-up, it does not matter whether it is a Chan, Cosafa, Afcon or World Cup qualifier.

"This gives you a chance to work with the coach and be in the [national team] set-up. For us to assemble as we did is a great opportunity to go experience what we have never experienced before,'' said Nhlapo, who is hoping to earn his ninth cap in Bafana colours.

"I do not think there is a player here [in the squad] who has played in a Chan match before, so it is a great opportunity for everyone. The PSL and continental football are not the same. Chan will give us a taste of playing against other African countries. Scouts might be there and we have youngsters in this team. It can be a breakthrough for them.''

Nhlapo made his debut in 2014 in a 0-0 international friendly draw away to New Zealand. The former Highlands Park defender also acknowledges the role he has to play as a senior player in the squad to help young uncapped players.

"When I first joined the national team I found senior players like Yeye [Reneilwe Letsholonyane] and Bernard Parker and they welcomed me. Now I will also do that to these youngsters in the team.''

The Soweto-born right-back has recently been linked to a move to SuperSport United and is hopeful that his future will be decided when he returns from Botswana. His loan deal with Highlands lapsed in the just concluded season.

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