Msimango sees Bafana call-up as a learning curve

Given Msimango. | BackpagePix

Given Msimango. | BackpagePix

Published Jun 11, 2024



Defender Given Msimango has embraced his maiden Bafana Bafana call-up, saying that will help him to improve as an individual and a player.

Msimango made a late entry into the Bafana set-up for the World Cup qualifiers this month against Nigeria and Zimbabwe after the withdrawal of Grant Kekana due to an injury.

He was an unused substitute during the 1-1 draw with Nigeria at Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Friday as Siyabonga Ngezana and Mothobi Mvala were paired in central defence. But after Mvala’s errors, coach Hugo Broos could opt for Msimango in defence against Zimbabwe at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein tonight (6pm kick-off).

However, even if the 27-year-old doesn’t get his maiden Bafana cap tonight that won’t deter him – the fact that he’s with the team is an achievement in its own.

“I was very excited, to be honest,” Msimango reacted to his maiden call-up yesterday. “When I was called up, I was on a vacation with my wife.

“I got the news that I needed to report for camp because there’s been an injury to Grant. I was very happy. The circumstances of the call-up didn’t matter, to be honest.

“For me, it was to be part of the group so that I can grow, learn and be part of the journey. I am happy to be here to represent my country.”

Msimango’s call-up is vindication of how hard work pays off despite his team, Kaizer Chiefs, going through a troubled time. Chiefs incredibly finished 10th in the DStv Premiership standings last season, while their barren run boiled over to nine successive seasons.

Msimango was in his first season at the club.

The former TS Galaxy player is eager to use the experience that he’ll gather from his first international sojourn to help him and Amakhosi improve.

“This call-up adds to the experience that I have had this season – it’s been a season that has been filled with ups and downs,” Msimango admitted.

“This national team call-up adds to the ups, having to grow with it and try to apply it to my parent club and give it the success it deserves.

“It will also help me to improve as an individual and improve on my skills. That’s the only way you’ll be able to grow as an individual, being surrounded by the best players in the country.”

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