Xulu sets lofty goals for rebuilding Bafana

Defender says World Cup, Afcon targets possible

Neville Khoza Journalist
Siyanda Xulu of South Africa and Onkabetse Makgantai of Botswana during the COSAFA Cup Plate Final match between South Africa and Botswana at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Siyanda Xulu of South Africa and Onkabetse Makgantai of Botswana during the COSAFA Cup Plate Final match between South Africa and Botswana at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Image: Philip Maeta

Bafana Bafana may be in the rebuilding process but qualifying for the Fifa World Cup next year remains one of their priorities.

This is the view of defender Siyanda Xulu as they prepare for the two qualifiers against Zimbabwe on Friday away and Ghana on Monday at home.

While coach Hugo Broos said in the past that South Africans must not expect much with most of the guys new in the team, Xulu insists they plan to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar next year and the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast in 2023.

Bafana start their qualifiers against Zimbabwe at National Sports Stadium on Friday at 3pm and Xulu is expecting a tough encounter against their neighbours.

“So far, it is just a great experience being back with the guys, hopefully, things will work our way because we are trying to form a very strong group that will try and compete,” Xulu told the Safa media department yesterday.

“I can never say I’m nervous, but I’m looking forward to the challenge in a way, we always have a crunch game against them, so it is going to be a good one.

“It is always difficult playing Zimbabwe because most players represent Zimbabwe here [Premier Soccer League]. They know how we play, that’s why I’m saying it is going to be a tough game in a way and also exciting. There is too much at stake because we want to qualify.”

The defender also shares his experience of working with Broos and said he is someone who demands discipline from the players.

“There is not much difference because we only trained for two days and I’ve not picked up the difference between the coaches that I worked with before,” he said.

“But he is more of a tactical coach. He is more demanding when it comes to discipline. He is more demanding on what he believes in, because he is a coach that has massive experience when it comes to the African continent.

“He has done well with Cameroon, so we are very excited to work with him, someone who has been there before."

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