Moeneeb Josephs says the lack of development after Bafana Bafana’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 1996 is the reason for the current generation’s struggles in the international arena.
Josephs conceded a penalty after spilling a straightforward save in Bafana’s 3-1 defeat to Nigeria on Sunday night, which saw the home side crash out of the African Nations Championship at the first hurdle.
The current crop of Bafana stars haven’t won anything significant since the spate of international football tournaments held on home soil since the Confederations Cup in 2009. South Africa have also failed to qualify for the 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“We as footballers can only do our best, and unfortunately we have sometimes come up short. We are a nation that is results driven, and after the 1996 Cup of Nations people were always going to expect the national team to be up there competing,” Josephs said.
“I think there maybe wasn’t sufficient planning afterwards, and I personally feel that there wasn’t sufficient development. Now we as a next generation are always going to struggle to live up to that standard.
“But one day I’m sure that things are going to change for us, and it’s going to change for the good. We are just going through a rough period, and yes people are going to say all these negative things, but as a football team we need to stay together because we have own path to carve out.”
Coach Gordon Igesund has come under plenty of pressure after Bafana’s premature exit. The coach went on the defensive during the post-match press conference following the loss to Nigeria, and said he wanted to stay on until his contract runs out in June.
Josephs backed the four-time league winner and said that Igesund is indeed the right man to take Bafana forward.
“You could the see the improvement Gordon has brought to the team. Of course people will be calling for his head, but if you want to judge him, judge him on his record with the national team,” Josephs said.
“It’s been nothing short of remarkable from where Bafana have been to where we are now. The results that he got against the likes of Spain is what we must build on. Not anybody can go out and beat Spain. “Gordon, I think, is the most tactically astute coach in South Africa.”
The Wits goalkeeper was coy about his own future on the international area after he was responsible for Nigeria second goal on Sunday night. It was Josephs’ first start for Bafana since September 2012.
“My future is not for me to decide, because I must get back to my team now and work hard for the remainder of the season. There is a big period to come for us now,” he said. - The Star