CAPE TOWN – Thabo Nodada may not have had an opportunity to put on a Bafana Bafana jersey last week, but he’s not too concerned about it.
For him, just the opportunity to be part of the national team set-up was a fantastic experience. Just testing the waters at international level, he made sure he soaked up everything.
And, as he continues his Cape Town City career, he is confident the experience will make him a better footballer, both as an individual and as a teammate.
City are in action tonight when they tackle AmaZulu in a PSL fixture at the Cape Town Stadium (8.15pm).
And Nodada, especially after the disappointing Telkom Knockout defeat to the same opposition on Tuesday, wants to make amends at home.
Victory is paramount for the Citizens, especially considering their log position (third-from-bottom) is looking rather precarious.
Nodada has been in superb form this season. His tireless work in the centre of midfield has caught the eye – and, at the age of 23, there is still lots of room to grow and mature.
When City won the MTN8 competition last month, he was magnificent in the final against SuperSport; it was his grabbing of control of the midfield which, ultimately, paved the way to trophy success for City.
As expected, Bafana coach Stuart Baxter was impressed and he had no hesitation in naming Nodada in his squad for the two 2019 Afcon qualifiers against Seychelles.
Bafana won the first match comfortably 6-0 in Johannesburg, but then struggled to a 0-0 result in the away fixture.
Nodada failed to make the match-day 18 on either occasion, but he’s not feeling disappointed in any way. He understands that, at this stage, it’s a learning curve for him – and he’s just happy to take it all in.
“I enjoyed it (the Bafana experience),” said Nodada. “I didn’t get to play, but I learnt a lot from the players around me.
“I also learnt about the pressures faced when playing for the national team. The Bafana jersey carries a lot of weight, and I can’t wait to fulfil the expectation some day.”
Now, back with City, Nodada faces a different and difficult challenge. City were terrible in losing 2-0 to AmaZulu on Tuesday and, more importantly, they haven’t scored a goal in their last four games, including the MTN8 final (0-0 after 120 minutes, with City winning on penalties).
But, at home tonight, with the support of the growing City faithful, at a stadium they really enjoying playing at, it’s an opportunity to turn things around, both in terms of goals and points.
“We are a team ready to do anything to get three points,” said Nodada. “We know what is needed, and we are very wary of our situation in the league.
“We are far better than the position we are in, and we need to prove it in these last few games of the year.”
It won’t be easy, though. AmaZulu are a much-improved outfit and they demonstrated just how dangerous they are during Tuesday’s comfortable Cup win over City.
No doubt, the Durban side, under the insightful steering hand of coach Cavin Johnson, will be looking to put one over the Capetonians again – this time in their own backyard.