Ntseki hopes to persuade highly rated England-born winger to play for Bafana
Tom Barkhuizen of Preston North End is in the coach’s sights as he eyes more firepower
Molefi Ntseki hopes to persuade English-based winger Tom Barkhuizen to play for Bafana Bafana and the SA coach is meeting the player to discuss the proposal.
The 26-year-old Barkhuizen‚ who was born in Blackpool and has set the English Championship alight with impressive performances for Preston North End this season‚ qualifies to play for Bafana through his grandfather’s SA links.
“We have a concern with strikers‚ so I will use this break to go to England to speak to Tom Barkhuizen‚ his club and his family.
“We are happy with his profiling and we want to see if he can get a SA passport and be able to come in.”
The winger has contributed five goals and provided four assists from 14 matches in the English Championship. He has two goals in three matches in the EFL Cup where they were knocked out in the third round by Manchester City.
Bafana once again misfired in front of goal to narrowly beat Sudan 1-0 in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
Ntseki is desperate to find a solution to the impotence before Bafana resume their schedule in 2020.
“We had a technical meeting where we discussed the team and [player] profiling‚” he said. “And part of the things that we discussed were that we need to have players who can come in and help the current players.
“In the attacking force we have Bradley Grobler who is scoring for SuperSport United and we need to get somebody else.
“In the midfield‚ you look at Kamo [Mokotjo] and Dean [Furman]. They are two of the choices in the team‚ so let’s go and profile maybe two players who can come in.
“We know that in the under-23s we have Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule‚ and we have Athenkosi Dlala who is playing in the First Division.
“In the PSL [Premier Soccer League] we are looking for natural defensive midfielders and we are profiling all the clubs — we are struggling to find those natural defensive midfielders.”
Ntseki lamented the litany of missed opportunities against Sudan and said he has little time to work on individual players at national team level.
“When it comes to the national team‚ you don’t have time to work on individual players‚ especially when it comes to technical aspects of the game‚” he said.
“Coming into this game‚ we had two sessions before the match against Ghana. We had one session before this match against Sudan.
“It takes a lot of energy to get into those scoring areas and getting into those areas of creativity. Unfortunately for us‚ we managed to get behind their defence more often but missing a chance is not only about a situation that prevents you from scoring but I think it is more mental.”