Percy Tau reveals how Springboks, Proteas’ are inspiring Bafana Bafana

Percy Tau says Bafana Bafana also wants to inspire the nation. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Percy Tau says Bafana Bafana also wants to inspire the nation. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Nov 17, 2023


Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau has revealed how the success of other sporting codes is contributing to lifting spirits in camp.

The Al Ahly man is set to lead Bafana’s attack when they kick off their 2026 World Cup qualifying journey against Benin at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm.

The South African men’s football side also have the added duty of representing the nation at the coming Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast in January.

The Springboks took Mzansi’s euphoria to new levels as they battled past world powerhouses to claim back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles.

The Springboks also became the first team to collect four Webb Ellis Cups, making them the undisputed best rugby nation in the world.

Although not at the same level, the Proteas have also had a decent run in the Cricket World Cup in India, sealing their semi-final spot with two games to spare in the group stages.

It is this kind of sports positivity that has spilled over to the Bafana squad as they prepare to make history of their own by qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, as well as possibly winning the Afcon 27 years after their 1996 triumph on home soil.

Tau, who is earmarked to be one of the most important players in coach Hugo Broos’ set-up, said he has pinpointed a shift in mentality as a huge factor of the success they’re searching for.

“I think everything rubs off on the guys, and you can see at training, whenever anyone scores, there’s celebration because they want to win. So, I think that’s something new with our national team,” he explained.

“We are all trying to chase success. We see it in other sports that it’s possible for South Africa to get success, so we also want to follow that.”

Bafana captain Ronwen Williams echoed his teammate’s sentiments as Bafana struggle to brush off negative sentiments despite recent positive results that see them unbeaten in 11 matches.

Bafana have shouldered the responsibility of not merely seeking trophy success, but also igniting dreams in youngsters from the different communities in the country, much like the Springboks.

Williams expressed the difficulties players have to go through in a time of huge criticism, but felt the duty to the nation gave Bafana strength to withstand all of it.

“Well, it’s tough, and once you become a professional, you understand that there are things you can’t control. So, the best way to go about it is my performance. I know what I can do and what I’m capable off,” the goalkeeper and captain said.

“We go through so many challenges where we come from and there’s a lot of negatives that’s going on, but you need to be strong and try to be that inspiration.

“I’ve seen (Bok skipper) Siya Kolisi speak less about them winning, but more about being an inspiration, so that’s what we’re trying to do as well – so we can give hope to the person who’s struggling at home.”