Oswin Appollis is eager to soak up as much experience as he possibly can from his Bafana Bafana seniors in his quest to be a fully-fledged international player.
Appollis got his maiden Bafana call-up for the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Benin in Durban on Saturday (3pm kick-off) and Rwanda in Butare on Tuesday.
It was a deserving call-up for the 22-year-old from Bishop Lavis in Cape Town, as he’s been one of the performers in the local top flight recently, guiding Polokwane City to a decent return to the elite division.
But while he made six goal contributions across 14 matches in all competitions for Polokwane, never in his wildest dreams did Appollis think he’d get a Bafana call-up so soon.
And that’s why, speaking to the Safa website, he made mention of the emotions he went through with someone special when he received the news.
“When I got the call-up, I was in Polokwane. I got a call from one of my friends, who said I was in the final 23-man squad,” Appollis explained.
“I then called my mother and told her I made the team. She was very excited. She even cried. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.”
Appollis’s mother was justified in crying tears of joy, given that this was a huge step in her son’s career, as he had only represented the junior national teams before.
Appollis is not overwhelmed by stage fright, though, as his senior teammates shared words of wisdom with the newbies, including Bradley Cross and Jayden Adams.
“Sometimes you do get a little bit nervous, but the experienced players always tell us not to be nervous, and do our best at what we do at our teams (clubs),” he said.
“It’s been a very good experience because there are a lot of experienced people here in the game. And my job is to learn a lot from them."
Scoring goals (three) and assisting (three) is what Appollis has been doing best for Polokwane as they are sixth on the league log, while they crashed out of the Carling Knockout Cup in the quarter-finals.
But he’ll have to take that form to the national team as they look to start their qualifying campaign with a bang by beating both Benin at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban tomorrow and Rwanda away during this international window.
“It’s very good to be here. I’ll continue to work hard and not put my mind on other things. I need to continue, because nothing comes easy,” he said.
And having been hard at work in training this week, Appollis has been so impressed by his teammates that he believes they can get a win against Benin.
“The camp has been going very well. I think the boys, at training, are pushing hard to see off the game on Saturday to get a win from that match,” he said.
Bafana coach Hugo Broos also spoke glowingly about Appollis earlier this week, saying his qualities fit the approach they want to adopt for the two matches.
“Appollis is quick, and he can eliminate the players and can make action. We need someone like him against teams like Benin, who play very low,” Broos said.
“You can’t always bypass using the spaces ... sometimes you need a guy who can eliminate. And in that picture, I think Appollis is a player who can do that.
“I’ll look at him during the training sessions, and maybe he’ll have the opportunity to come in on Saturday or in Rwanda, and hopefully we’ll see good from him.”