Rodney Ramagalela of Polokwane City celebrates scoring against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on August 22. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Top Polokwane City marksman Rodney Ramagalela is not bothered by the fact that he has not being given an opportunity to showcase himself at Bafana Bafana level.

Ramagalela is leading the pack with five goals after eight outings in the Absa Premiership so far this season.

Ramagalela netted the winner at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Wednesday when his side recorded their second win of the season at the expense of AmaZulu.

Tokelo Rantie is currently the main striker for Bafana. The former Orlando Pirates forward has notched up 12 goals in 40 Bafana appearances, while many coaches have tried different options for Bafana upfront to create competition for Rantie.

Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba tried Bongani “Drogba” Ndulula, David Zulu, Rantie, Bernard Parker, Lehlohonolo “Major” Majoro, Prince Nxumalo, Kermit Erasmus, Thamsanqa Gabuza and Bonginkosi Ntuli during his stint with Bafana.

Stuart Baxter has also called different strikers since taking over the Bafana job in June. The Englishman has picked the likes of Rantie, Bradley Grobler, Erasmus, Percy Tau, Lebohang Mothiba and Dino Ndlovu.

Ramagalela is not bothered that the national selectors have been snubbing him over the last couple of months.

“A national team call-up is something that I don’t have control over. I think the coaches who are selecting the team, it is them who need to make sure that they select the best players for the national team. I don’t have control of that,” Ramagalela said.

Ramagalela has represented the Under-23 national team that went to Marrakesh in Morocco for Olympic Games qualifiers ahead of the 2012 event in London.

Bafana have struggled to get strikers who can command a regular berth at national level.

Back in the days, the team use to have the likes of Benni McCarthy, Shaun Bartlett, Phil Masinga, Mark Williams, Sibusiso Zuma and Siyabonga Nomvethe.

Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker tried their level best and both scored 23 goals – Mphela netted his in 51 matches, while Parker did it in 73.

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has usually picked Tokelo Rantie as his main striker. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

Bafana are languishing at the bottom of the log after four World Cup qualifiers with four points, and need maximum points in both matches against Senegal next month to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. 

It remains to be seen whether Baxter will include Ramagalela in his squad to face Senegal.

“When you have guys who believe in you, everything is possible. Hard work also does pay off. The commitment I put in the game is also working for me. I don’t have a target number of goals. My mission is to help Polokwane City to stay in a better position in the log,” he said.

“I think we have started well so far. I think we have moved a step forward. Today’s results will play a major role in terms of boosting our confidence. We want to fight for a result in each and every game,” Ramagalela said.

Rise and Shine will face Lamontville Golden Arrows at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Saturday at 3.30pm.

“It is a bit tougher this season. Each and every team are trying to play the best football. We’ve brought ourselves into this position and we have to pick ourselves up,” Ramagalela said.

“We have pressure to secure another top-eight position. I don’t doubt that we can repeat what we did last season.”

For the past five seasons, no player has scored more than 15 goals.

“You guys forget one thing – when we play, it is not only strikers, but there are also defenders. We have to give them credit.

“They are doing well when it comes to defending. It is not easy for us as strikers to keep on scoring in each and every game,” Ramagalela explained.

 

IOL Sport