Modiba, because of his versatility to play at left-back and on the left wing, was a surprise omission in the Bafana squad that reached the quarter-finals at Afcon. His ability to play in two different positions makes him a good player to have in tournament football where the turnaround time is short. Bafana’s two Afcon 2021 qualifiers against Ghana tomorrow at Cape Coast, and Sudan on Sunday at Orlando Stadium are like tournament football of some sort. The team will have a short time to prepare and play two gruelling games in a couple of days.
“Not being at Afcon made me strong as a player. When you don’t get a call-up you can’t just look down,” Modiba said. “I wouldn’t say that it was a setback, it made me stronger as a player and pushed me to continue working hard for my team which is why I welcome this return.”
Modiba has returned to the Bafana fold in a team that has a number of players who featured at the Rio Olympics with the Under-23s. Lebo Mothiba, Mothobi Mvala and Thapelo Morena were also in Brazil and will be looking to help Bafana earn a ticket to Cameroon by starting well in the first two Afcon qualifiers.
“I am happy to be back in the national team, it shows that my effort was recognised by the coach,” Modiba said. “I am just happy to be part of the setup. Obviously, it’s not a good thing for a player to not see their name in the national team squad whenever its announced. But there is a certain number that needs to be there. It doesn’t feel great, but you can’t just dwell on that and look down, you have to rise up and continue working hard. If the call up comes, it will come but just keep doing well for your team.”