Siyabonga Nomvethe, a gentle giant of South African soccer, is “certain” to make a return to the Bafana Bafana squad for the crucial World Cup qualifying games against Ethiopia and Botswana next month after an absence of two years.
This is the view of forthright Moroka Swallows coach Gordon Igesund following the 34-year-old forward's irrepressible form and scoring spree of late.
“Siyabonga has been in such amazing form all season,” Igesund said on Monday.
“He's running away with the race as PSL top scorer with 18 goals and I simply cannot see him being left out, even though some of the sceptics claimed his international career was over after 79 Bafana appearances.”
What is more, Igesund, who is himself a strong candidate for the PSL Coach of the Year award, believed Nomvethe had the credentials to be named PSL Footballer of the Year as well.
The Birds coach, who helped four different clubs to a record four PSL titles, also believed another of his Swallows players, former Kaizer Chiefs star David Mathebula, was a viable candidate for a return to the Bafana squad.
Nomvethe, who is Bafana's fourth highest all-time goalscorer behind Benni McCarthy, Shaun Bartlett and Katlego Mphela, first made his mark as a goal-scoring wing with Durban club African Wanderers in 1999.
He then starred for Kaizer Chiefs in the PSL, Italian club Udinese and Denmark's Aab FC.
He joined Swallows after returning to South Africa in 2009 and represented Bafana in both the 2002 and 2010 World Cups – making his last international appearance as a substitute in the 2-1 victory over France at the global showpiece two years ago.
Igesund, meanwhile, admitted his side were climbing an uphill battle to make up a two-point deficit on league leaders Orlando Pirates with two matches left in the season.
“We'll take the games against Platinum Stars and Maritzburg United like all our other matches,” he said.
“And that means striving to play an attractive brand of soccer as well as trying to collect points.” – Sapa