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Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala still has a role to play for Bafana Bafana, writes Sandile Mazibuko.

Posted: 29 May 2014 Time: 17:06

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala still has a role to play for Bafana Bafana, writes Sandile Mazibuko.

National team coach Gordon Igesund showered praise on his charges on Monday after they held a determined and World Cup-bound Australia to a 1-1 draw.

Igesund’s men shrugged off bumpy preparations for the encounter after a spate of senior player withdrawals.

Given the circumstances, it wasn’t a bad effort for Bafana, whose goal was scored by Ayanda Patosi in his first start for the country.

Initially Igesund had called up a more formidable and experienced squad for the tour Down Under, but withdrawals blitzed his camp on the eve of departure.

One of the withdrawals, due to injury according to his club, was Tshabalala.

I single out ‘Shabba’ because he is the most senior in our team, and in my opinion the most important. As I scribe that ‘important’, I know for a fact that perspectives will contrast.

Some are of the opinion that ‘Shabba’ still has a role to play in the Bafana squad, with some going as far as saying ever since that empathic opening goal in the 2010 World Cup, he has never been the same.

VOTE POLL! Do you think Shabba should still play for Bafana?

“What Shabba has done besides scoring that opening goal in 2010 WC? I don't remember seeing him playing game of his life for BB, RT @Doc_Ndumo” tweeted Siphiwe Gcwensa.

“His time has expired, it’s time we focus on the future & Let him focus on making money on club level, RT @Doc_Ndumo.”  Gcwensa continued.

The 29-year-old Tshabalala has 87 caps for Bafana - second only to the retired Aaron Mokoena on 107.

When Shabba made his debut for Bafana as an unknown 22-year-old in 2006, little did we know of what was to come.

He made his bow in a friendly against Egypt on 14 January 2006 before featuring in the 1-0 defeat to Guinea in Bafana’s opening match of the 2006 African Nations Cup.

After the 2006 Afcon, he helped Free State Stars win promotion back to the Premier Soccer League before he was snapped up by Chiefs in the January transfer window of 2007.

Shabba went on to be included in Bafana’s squads for the 2008 Afcon, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and most recently the 2014 Afcon.

Recently ‘Shabba’ has seen little game time under Igesund, and rightly so, as the likes of Daylon Claasen, Thulani Serero, Bongani Zungu, Thuso Phala, Lindokuhle Mbatha and Patosi have shown their ability.

And going forward, I’d also advise Igesund to keep doing so because the aforementioned names are all the future of Bafana, with the exception of Mbatha and Phala.

Shabba turns 30 on 25 September, Mbatha turns 29 on June 25, and Phala turned 28 earlier this week, while the others mentioned above are all in their early twenties.

But does this mean Shabba should be sidelined in order to make way for the younger pool of players?

I don’t think so, especially with the Afcon 2015 qualifiers set to commence in the first week of September.

I believe that for the upcoming qualifiers, we still need our tried and tested horses - the very same 11 players that withdrew from Bafana’s current squad (Itumeleng Khune, Oupa Manyisa, Thabo Matlaba, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Bernard Parker, Tsepo Masilela, Siyanda Xulu, Andile Jali, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Shabba). This is simply because they have the experience of competing in Africa.

A good mix of youth and experience is essential as both age sets bring vital qualities to the team. The younger players bring a ‘no fear factor’ to any squad while the older players bring in stability and experience.

I believe Shabba still has a lot more to offer both on and off the field. As some of you may know, at international level form alone is not enough, therefore Shabba can help with preparing the younger generation. He does not need to play every game, but given his experience he should not just be thrown out.

Coaches have come and gone, and through it all he’s been there. Be it when he led his teammates to the infamous ‘dance of shame’, when the team thought a point would qualify them for the 2012 Afcon - only to lose out to Niger on head-to-head, or when he made it to history books by scoring the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup. Thus he has a lot to pass on to the youngsters both on and off the field.

Lastly our talent is often killed by the socio-economic changes that players go through, and Shabba is one of a few players - like Daine Klate and Surprise Moriri - that one can state that fame and money never went to their heads.

He maintained a commendable level of professionalism, hence he still enjoys multiple endorsements. The man has a cool head and his talent is obvious.

Although I’ve also been a critic of ‘Nyawana’ at times, I cannot wait to look on in admiration should he join ‘Mbazo’ in the FIFA Century Club.

Please follow and share your thoughts via @Doc_Ndumo on Twitter.

Livefyre comments on this story...

posted: 2014-05-29 15:09:46

Ehh No Comment!!!

posted: 2014-05-29 15:11:46

Des Sandile dude mara where is he from

posted: 2014-05-29 15:16:21

Ilfated search and rescue...

posted: 2014-05-29 15:20:39

Offcause !!!!!! Who's better than him? Nzunga & Mabena?

posted: 2014-05-29 15:23:20

What????????????????? Sandile u r mad! That's all I can say.

Fumigator {#Komphela Is A Spaza Shop Coach}
posted: 2014-05-29 15:23:41

1st it was that Rat article, now this. Please stop with these irrelevant essays. Shabba needs to retire from international football, so do Yeye,Masilela, KG,Modise,Nthethe,Khumalo...etc.

I am sick and tired of hearing the abovementioned players&bafana being mentioned in the same wavelength.

It is long overdue that we be hearing about the likes of Serero, Mkhwanazi, Vilakazi, Claasen,Williams,Phungwayo, Jali..etc.

posted: 2014-05-29 15:26:20

His role will be fetching Patosi and Rantie's boots, water bottle and toilet paper.
 He must make sure Rantie's and Patosi's backsides are clean after dipping some shit.

Three 3
posted: 2014-05-29 15:31:59

bye bye Shabba i always liked you as a player not as a good player and that sums it

don't leave behind 5 or 6 of your current Bafana Bafana regulars including that goalkeeper

we need a professional BRAND NEW TEAM FOR MZANSI some fresh air please

posted: 2014-05-29 15:33:04

Shabba played his part like the one's before him,its time now to make way for the new generation,who when their time comes,have to vacate their position as well.

Enough Said !!!

Once and Always....(Gold till next Gold) 

posted: 2014-05-29 15:33:04

Nyawana has a admirer afterall impressive, professionalism and ability are two different things, we all know he has endorsements because he plays for chips n their supporters are the most gullible bunch in the entire mzansi, its for the same reason they have kettles and stoves branded in the clubs colours. Nyawana is a great role model, we dnt need role models to move forward we need players with football brain, able to apply themselves (using both feet), determined, fearless and coachable (meaning they can be taught new things)...shabalala has non of these therefore he shouldn't be anywhere near bafumbler, if we go with what this opinion piece describes as an ideal bafana player then a player like Lekgwathi should be part of bafumbler afterall he has more African experience than the "great Nyawana".

posted: 2014-05-29 15:37:38

I think he still has  something 2 offer 2 de national team

posted: 2014-05-29 15:43:28

You mention experience as your cause of continuing with tshabalala and co.experience in defeat.when teams talk about experience they mean someone who is been there,done that and got a gold medal to prove it.your mboma at the olympics or when pitso played nyandoro and moriri that's the experience he wanted to win the psl.these bunch of losers are not the experience we are looking for.we need hungry boys who aren't afraid of being part of hoodoo individuals who will start on a new clean slate.let patosi and classen fight for that position.

posted: 2014-05-29 15:49:22

Whose is Better Than Him?.....Thandai " NAKED GHOST" Nsthumayelo.....

zekhaya radebe
posted: 2014-05-29 16:03:07

Not just Shabba but all the donkeys who have had been given a chance,what did they do in the national team except for disappointing us?At one stage I even counted 7 zebras in BB starting at the same time,what did they achieve?What do we still hope to get from this monkey?Ayi Sandile angivumelani nawe tu!!!!!2015 CAN is around the corner and we are up against Nigeria whom we have never beaten in any official games with the best players that we once had.Let's get new young players at least if they loose we have a good excuse:They are still learning but sadly we cnt say the same to this cow

former buc_champ
posted: 2014-05-29 16:03:51

The only place mr 2010 have a role to play at, is at the farm helping boobsteak plant more cabbages so the zoo can be full and grace peacefully, at bafunny his time is up! We shouldn't even have discussions about this cow but focus on the future which is your Mahlangu, serero, patosi, jali and zungu the likes.. And no more parker roles too, we have exciting attack minded players like erasmus and manyisa. I don't give a toss about age, we should blend these younger players in with experience ones and select merited players only, on form!, deserving! Working very hard showing the hunger! And definitely cowdon out! Once and always bucs.

yellow machine
posted: 2014-05-29 16:04:44

We cnt keep on recycling these players let's move on, I jst want Safa to give organise them a farewell game to say thanx for taking us nowhere. Here's the list Gaxa,Masilela,Khumalo,KG,Yeye,Teko,Shabba,Pienaar,Nomvete,Ntethe,

posted: 2014-05-29 16:12:50

89 caps for nothing ,even overseas trials at their 2nd division in Europe didn't materialise,but those caps were just freebies for Nyawana,no merits

The Transformer Reloaded
posted: 2014-05-29 16:26:53

Well informed article editor; and humorous as well. . . I honest admire him as a player; maybe we need to introduce mentorship in our national team (where seasoned players guide the future if not current stars).

posted: 2014-05-29 16:29:17

Buc-champ 14 Erasmus is not even getting it right at pirates, so how can u even think of him for Bafana?  the only contribution he made is the two fluke goals he scored in the final

posted: 2014-05-29 16:33:38

Does playing with only his left foot make Shabba a bad player? there are so many great players who used only their left.  if u did not only start supporting football after 2010 world cup u will remember Diego Maradona was left footed like Shabba and played the best football.  Many of U want Shabba out but mention who to replace him with U dont know. 

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