Igesund proud of 'inexperienced' Bafana

The Bafana coach is pleased with the progress his side has made.

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has praised his makeshift squad's performance at the Cosafa Cup, saying the uncapped players did themselves and the nation proud.

Bafana returned with bronze for the tournament which was held in Zambia.

Igesund had to make a number of changes to his original squad because Absa Premiership clubs held their players back for various reasons. The coach says the team gelled in a very short time.

"We only had three training sessions and this was the first time they played together. I think they did a very good job and all credit to them.

"We played three games and we were unbeaten over 90 minutes in those three games. I couldn't have expected more with such short preparation, I think the guys were magnificent.

"It's very difficult when you put 20 young players together because they need the experienced players there steering them in the right direction. [Despite] not having those players there, I thought they were really good."

Bafana now have their sights set on the match against Nigeria in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on 14 July. Some uncapped players who played in the Cosafa Cup could be rewarded with a call-up following their performances.

"There are one or two or maybe even three payers in the squad that I took there that possibly could get a call-up. Not because I want to put them there, but because they deserve to be there and they've done a very good job."

The Bafana coach says a star-studded Nigerian team will be difficult to beat.

"They've got four players who play for Chelsea and two that play for Newcastle. They've got a couple of players in Germany and a couple at Dynamo Kyiv. It's a very big test for us."