Andre Arendse: This Bafana group can emulate class of ‘96
The Bafana Bafana legend has been brought in by coach Stuart Baxter to lend his experience and expertise in the goalkeeping department.
JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana legend and the current national team’s goalkeeper coach Andre Arendse says he’s seeing glimpses of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning team that he was part of in this 2018 squad.
Arendse has been brought in by coach Stuart Baxter to lend his experience and expertise in the goalkeeping department, as Bafana look to qualify for the 2019 Afcon set to take place in Cameroon.
The 51-year-old is one of two Bafana legends in Baxter’s technical team assisting with this Afcon campaign – the coach has also called on Shaun Bartlett and former captain Aaron Mokoena.
Bartlett joins the Baxter brigade in an attempt to help with the ailing goal-scoring, while Mokoena’s knowledge is being used holistically by the gaffer.
Arendse says this crop of players can rewrite the history, but it won’t be a short or easy journey.
“The time that it takes to get there (class of 1996) is up to the players. We had a process back in 1996 that started as soon as we got into international football again, that was around 1992. So, the process is not overnight, it does take a bit of time.”
Arendse’s vote of confidence in the team comes after they made their own bit of history by recording the largest win margin in a competitive match in South African football – they beat the Seychelles 6-0 in their 2019 Afcon qualifier at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Bafana find themselves at the top of Group E on seven points from three games and lead Nigeria by a point. They have another meeting with Seychelles out at the island nation and stand a chance of moving to 10 points and all but booking their place in the continental showpiece.
Arendse says his and the other legends’ jobs in the technical team are to help the players realise their potentials and take the national team to heights its capable of reaching.
“The skill and ability, it’s all there, we have it, we have it in abundance in South African football. So it's for people like ourselves (legends) to take that talent and skill and nurture it and work with it and just guide it, aside from coaching the game in our various departments.”
South Africa’s clash with the Islanders is set for a 14:30 kick-off at Stade Linite.