The next ’Steven Pienaar’ is hoping to help Bafana Bafana shine at Cosafa Cup
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DURBAN - Bafana Bafana are due to play their third game of the Cosafa Cup when they clash against neighbours Lesotho at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tonight.
The South Africans will be looking to record a third win on the trot after opening their Cosafa Cup campaign with victories against Botswana and Eswatini.
While Bafana will be aiming to win the southern African competition, it serves as a developmental platform for fringe players to make cases for inclusions in key games going forward and with the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in mind which start in September.
Traditional southern African football giants Zambia have been uncharacteristically poor at the tournament so far, having lost their opening two fixtures against Eswatini and Lesotho. This means that Bafana will be favourites to win the tournament.
One player who has impressed so far is TS Galaxy midfielder Ethan Brooks. After making his Bafana debut against Uganda in a friendly last month, the youngster has earned starts against Botswana and Eswatini. The teenager has even drawn comparisons to Steven Pienaar.
“How I'm handling the pressure of being compared to the likes of Steven Pienaar, I'm handling it well,” Brooks said. “He was one of the best football players to have come from SA that played here in the country and abroad.
“For me, I am handling the pressure and taking it day by day because I do not want to put too much pressure on myself trying to do things that he did. I will just be myself and play the way I have been.”
Brooks remains confident that Bafana has what it takes to win the Cosafa Cup.
“Two games. Do I believe we can go all the way? Yes, I do. With the players we have here, I believe we can go all the way. The players in the camp are always capable of putting in hard work and going all the way,” he said.
While Bafana will be happy with the two wins so far, there is still room for improvement. Realistically, SA should be aiming to win their games convincingly even with second-string teams.