Baxter confident Bafana will do the nation proud
SA's last warm-up against Angola on Wednesday ahead of Afcon kick-off
Bafana Bafana landed in Egypt on Tuesday ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and were greeted by the SA ambassador and staff from the embassy on their arrival.
The South Africans arrived in Cairo early on Tuesday and were to have their first training session in the afternoon.
Bafana will embark on the third leg of their preparations in Egypt‚ after a week spent in a camp in Johannesburg‚ then a week in Dubai‚ where SA drew 0-0 in a warmup match against Ghana on Saturday.
SA meet Angola in a second and final warmup game on Wednesday‚ ahead of their Afcon kickoff against Ivory Coast in Cairo on Monday‚ June 24.
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter‚ responding to a greeting by ambassador Vusi Mavimbela‚ said the national team arrive in Egypt as a unified combination who will give their best.
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“On behalf of the squad and the technical team I’d like to say thank you for the kind words by the ambassador‚” Baxter said. “Thank you for the entire office pitching up to greet the lads.
“Sometimes when you call together an international squad you struggle to make it a team. We’ve had no problem with these players‚ bringing them under the same flag. Sometimes they bring with them flags from all over the world and we struggle‚ even though they’re South Africans‚ to get them playing for each other‚ respecting each other‚ and allowing each other to grow. But the strength of this squad is that when we play the other nations they will have that problem and we will not. That we can guarantee.
“That is the best guarantee that they [the players] can give any South African. They will make sure that they sell themselves very dearly‚ they will not sell themselves cheaply‚ and they certainly will not let anybody lower our flag without a fight. And I think that promise‚ every player sitting in front of me will give because he respects both his country and his team.
“So this version of Bafana will do it’s very best. And that guarantee should be good enough for every South African.”
Bafana‚ after their Group D opener against Ivory Coast‚ meet Namibia on June 28‚ and Morocco on July 1.
All SA’s group games are at Cairo’s 30‚000-seat Al Salam Stadium.