Bafana Bafana goalkeeper coach Andre Arendse believes Stuart Baxter’s current squad can emulate the class of 1996 by winning the Africa Cup of Nations.
The South African national team were forced to settle for a point against Seychelles in Victoria after playing to a goalless draw in their fourth Group E encounter on Tuesday.
Baxter’s men have now dropped to second place in the group with eight points, while the Pirates remain at the foot of the table, but managed to claim their first point in the group.
The former Bafana goalkeeper is confident that the current crop of players in the squad has what it takes to go all the way in the Afcon.
‘I got to tell you the answer is definitely yes,’ Arendse told the media.
‘The time that it takes to get there (win Afcon) it’s up to the players.
‘We had a process back in 1996 that started as soon as we got re-admitted back into international football which was around 1992.
‘So the process is not overnight‚ it does take a bit of time and I’m hoping that with people like us on board in terms of assisting that process‚ knowing how to maneuver the players through the difficult parts of that process will help the team.’
Arendse, who made 67 appearances in all competitions for the national team, was part of the Bafana squad that won the 1996 Afcon title under the guidance of then coach Clive Barker.
‘I think you know we‘d like to think that people like myself‚ Shaun and of course Aaron…. the kind of thing that we’d like to bring to the team is obviously the experience of having been there ourselves as players,’ he added.
‘It’s about knowing what environment it takes to qualify for major tournaments‚ what preparation needs to go into it and the strength of mind that you need when you go play away from home for an example.
‘So all of these factors play a big part.
He added: ‘So just from a guidance perspective and to keep the guys on track that we believe is the route that players need to follow to get to a certain stage.
‘This qualifying process for us is a massive one.
‘Our roles (as former players) are important in terms of just helping to keep the team on the right track.
‘What I have seen so far on this particular road is that it’s a good one‚ it’s wonderful to see and the process itself is going very nice.’
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
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