JOHANNESBURG – The leading goal-scorer in the 2017/18 season with six goals and three assists, Polokwane City’s Rodney Ramagalela, doesn’t mind watching Bafana Bafana from the stands on Friday in his home town instead of being part of the action.
Ramagalela has promised to use the snub from the squad that will do duty in the back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Senegal, starting on Friday at Peter Mokaba Stadium and Dakar on Tuesday, as motivation to force his way into the national team in the future.
The Rise and Shine striker has been on fire for his club, helping them reach the Telkom Knockout semi-final for the first time in the club’s history.
The 28-year-old was named the Player of the Month for October and took home the Goal of the Month award for August/September for the brilliant goal he scored against his former team Mamelodi Sundowns.
But all of that wasn’t enough for him to get the nod from Stuart Baxter for these two must-win matches if Bafana are to book a ticket to Russia.
“For me, it (the snub) is a motivation itself,” Ramagalela said. “I have to work harder than I did. I think that we should give the coach a chance to do his job and not choose for him which players he should bring to the team.
“That will help us as South Africa to go forward. I will keep on supporting Bafana Bafana.
“I will even be at the stadium tomorrow (on Friday). I believe that the players who are in the team will do the job for the country.”
After watching Bafana on Friday, Ramagalela and company will focus on outsmarting Bloemfontein Celtic at the same venue on November 19 in the semi-final of the Telkom Knockout.
Phunya Sele Sele find themselves in the last four of the tournament they last won in 2012 thanks largely to the good work of coach Veselin Jelusic.
The Serbian coach took home the award for the Coach of the Month for October.
“There are several reasons that have contributed to us getting some good results,” Jelusic said.
“One of them for sure is team work. The second reason is that this year we have a few new players and together with the players that we had before, we are a very strong and competitive team.
“The third reason is probably the methodology during the practices. As it is, we are going to improve all the aspects of our game – tactical, technical, psychological and physical.
“The fourth one is the strategic approach of having good balance in the team, so that the players’ qualities can come out.”