JOHANNESBURG – Following his appointment on Monday as captain of Bafana Bafana for the Cosafa Cup, Siyanda Xulu admitted he was surprised to be given the honour.
"It was a very huge surprise when the coach named me the captain," said the Maritzburg United defender who last played for South Africa in 2014.
"Coming back here is me saying to myself let me just learn new things from the other guys, let me reset my international career. It was me trying to refocus on my game, and the captaincy is not something I really expected."
The Cosafa Cup began on Sunday, but South Africa will only be in action from this weekend starting at the quarterfinal stage as one of the seeded teams. South Africa will face the winners of Group A, which has Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Mozambique.
"Personally, it has been a great year, I can actually label this as my best season ever.
"When one looks back two seaons ago things were not looking that great, me coming back and fighting for my position at Maritzburg United, earning a Bafana Bafana call-up and also being named captain of the squad – and I am hoping for a good tournament."
Down to the business of performing well as hosts of the Cosafa Cup, Xulu said the squad had the potential to impress.
"We have to work to hard and prepare well for the tournament. I can never assure you of what we can do as a team because we have only had one training session, but I believe in the boys.
"From the first session you could see the attitude and the willingness to work for one another. It is a good bunch of players, young and energetic, and that’s what you need."
African News Agency (ANA)