Bafana work on structure ahead of Nations Cup
There has been a lot of improvement, says assistant coach Ntseki
Bafana Bafana are working on structure and formations in the Dubai leg of their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt‚ says SA assistant coach Molefi Ntseki.
The sweltering heat in Dubai‚ where Bafana meet Ghana in a warm-up on Saturday‚ will serve as a good precursor for Egypt‚ which is mildly less hot in the northern hemisphere mid-summer, Ntseki said.
In Bafana’s SA leg of their preparation camp at Steyn City School last week the emphasis was on bringing players with various degrees of fitness and niggling injuries from staggered ends to their seasons in the Premier Soccer League and Europe to a uniform level.
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In Dubai‚ the squad is concentrating increasingly on tactical work.
“We travelled very well to Dubai. When I look back‚ I can see there is a lot improvement in terms of our team preparation for the Afcon‚” Ntseki said.
“For now‚ we are where we are because of a structured‚ detailed preparation that we have gone through. We will have three sessions before we play a friendly against Ghana.
“The weather here is boiling hot, and what we expect in Egypt.
“On the tactical side‚ the coaches are working on the structure‚ the team discipline and formations. We are going to play teams who are also very structured.
“It is important for us to have a tactical endurance in terms of how we want to play‚ how we want to attack and defend; how we want to attack set plays‚ how we want to defend set plays. And overall the open game that we want to have on the day.
“The guys have responded very positively to the plan and the programme. We’re all looking forward to the first game‚ and see how we can maximise the points in the three games‚ and see ourselves in the last-16. And if we get there we can easily go all the way.
“But what’s important is the tactical cohesion the coach [Stuart Baxter] has emphasised. The crop of players we have are up for the challenge and looking forward to doing well in Egypt.”
The final leg of preparation will be in Egypt‚ where SA are due to meet Angola in a friendly on Wednesday.
Bafana open their tournament against Ivory Coast in Cairo on June 24. Namibia and Morocco complete Group D.