Njabulo Ngcobo of SA is challenged by Nilton Ernesto of Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup semifinal at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on July 16 2021. Picture: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES
Njabulo Ngcobo of SA is challenged by Nilton Ernesto of Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup semifinal at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on July 16 2021. Picture: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES

Kaizer Chiefs defender Njabulo Ngcobo was a late addition to the Bafana Bafana camp this week but the player is just grateful he is part of the squad tasked to represent the nation in the back-to-back 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe on Friday and Ghana on Monday.

The 27-year-old defender said that despite his late arrival in the camp, he is happy to join the national team and represent his country.

After injury concerns ruled out Mosa Lebusa, Innocent Maela and Portugal-based Sphephelo Sithole, and Mothobi Mvala’s fitness gave Bafana coach Hugo Broos plenty to think about, Ngcobo was recalled  to the squad.

“We all know that it took a while for me to be here, but I am happy to be part of Bafana,” he said. “It means a lot that so many people believe in me and want to see me in the  squad.”

Ngcobo was named in Broos’s provisional 31-man squad but was omitted when the Belgian trimmed his squad down to 23 players.

“I was already at home when I got a national team call-up because Chiefs gave us a break, so I was not in Johannesburg when I got the call to come back,” he said.

The defender said it would not be hard for him gel with the other players, since he knows them from the premiership.

Broos’s squad has combined elements of the Bafana developmental combination that won the Cosafa Cup in Gqeberha in July, the team that beat Uganda in a friendly in June, and the Under-23 side that took part in the Tokyo Olympic Games recently.

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