Chiefs defender Thabani Dube using recent Bafana snub as motivation

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Thabani Austin Dube in action during the Cosafa Cup match against Lesotho at Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Thabani Austin Dube in action during the Cosafa Cup match against Lesotho at Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs defender Thabani Dube says the recent snub by Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has motivated him to work even harder to return to the national team.

The 28-year-old Dube, who was signed by Chiefs from Richards Bay during the off-season, was part of the Bafana squad for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana last month.

He was omitted for the back-to-back wins over Ethiopia where Broos changed the defence by dropping Dube, Thibang Phete, Sibusiso Mabiliso, Thapelo Morena and included Terrence Mashego and Mosa Lebusa.

“Not being included was a motivation for me to work even harder so I can be called up for the next national team camp. I know that I have to continue working hard to be able to play for the national team,” said Dube, who is establishing himself in the Chiefs defence.

Part of his mission to impress Broos continues on Sunday when Chiefs make the short trip to high-flying SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium for their DStv Premiership match.

Since he arrived at Naturena a few months ago, Dube has featured in four league matches for Amakhosi and feels that has not reached full physical conditioning.

“I am not yet at the level where I want to be,” said Dube, adding that he expects a tough match from SuperSport who are yet to lose a league match together with Mamelodi Sundowns and Stellenbosch after seven matches.

“I still need more games to get my fitness to where I used to be. So far, I think I have done well in terms of performances but I need to continue improving so that I help the team whenever I am called upon.

“Looking back at my season so far, I can say everything is going well. Judging from the past two games, I think we have done well as a team by getting a draw against AmaZulu and a win over Chippa United.

“I think for the upcoming game against SuperSport, we must stick to our game plan and to our tactics. We just have to go out there, be ourselves and play our normal football.

“I have watched almost all their (SuperSport) matches this season and they have been doing well, which is proved by the fact that they are sitting second from the top on the log.”

In the four league matches he has played, Dube said he has learnt a lot from Eric Mathoho.

“It has been a great experience working with an experienced player like Tower (Mathoho). The other defenders have also helped me a lot with the experience that they have. I learn a lot every day and my partnership with Tower has been great.”