Molefi Ntseki not fretting over Soweto derbies, looks to Thamsanqa Gabuza


Gabuza could get a long-awaited return to the Bafana setup after falling off the national team radar back in 2017, when he earned his last cap against Zambia under Stuart Baxter.

The former Orlando Pirates striker has rediscovered the sort of form he once showed in the national colours, having scored crucial goals to help his current club SuperSport United lift the MTN8 trophy recently.

Though he has not been included in the current squad, Ntseki has revealed that he has kept a close eye on the 32-year-old’s progress this season and could include him should the circumstances allow, particularly with the threat of injuries to his frontmen.

“If something happens to any of the players we have selected, we’ll always have a back-up list that will be coming in – but I don’t want to refer to them as back-up players,” said Ntseki.

“I want to refer to them as players who could not make it into the squad, but they are likely to be part of the squad at any time [in future]. I won’t make mention of those players, but I have a list in terms of goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers.

“Somebody earlier on was asking me about Gabuza, if he’s in the team, and I said, ‘No, unfortunately for you, he’s not in the team.’

“But he’s one player that we are tracking. We are very impressed with his performance and, when that time comes, he will also be considered for selection.”

Bafana face Ghana in Accra and Sudan in Johannesburg in the space of just four days next month, which could prove challenging for Ntseki particularly with back-to-back Soweto derbies on the cards the week before the squad assembles.

But the former youth national team coach is confident the staff at both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are well equipped to manage the likes of Erick Mathoho, Thembinkosi Lorch and Innocent Maela's fitness prior to the international camp.

“We are fully aware of the schedule, but I think we have the best conditioning trainers from the biggest teams in the country,” he added.

“You look at Chiefs, I think they’ve got the best trainer; you look at Pirates, because they’ll obviously be playing those derbies, and SuperSport are the same.

“So, in terms of loading and recovery I think we also have Kabelo Rangoaga in the Bafana setup and he’s done very well for Sundowns, so we know how to handle situations like these.”