Related News

Related Club News

Tovey on Bafana’s AFCON hopes

Neil Tovey shares his thoughts on Bafana

Posted: 18 January 2013 Time: 1:28 pm

Africa Cup of Nations-winning captain Neil Tovey shares his thoughts on how Bafana should approach the opening game, how they compare to the 1996 team, and the fans’ expectations of the current crop.

KICK OFF: How will the players be feeling with the opening match now just a few hours away?
Neil Tovey: They haven’t been playing with extreme confidence, so I would imagine there’s going to be a few sleepless nights for one or two, but the guys that have been at the World Cup will probably take it in their stride.

KO: How was it for you guys 17 years ago, especially given it was the team’s first major tournament?
NT: We didn’t really know too much about the tournament at that stage; obviously we hadn’t played at any Cup of Nations, unlike other teams who’d played many big tournaments. I think with that first one we hadn’t really seen too much about the competition, so it was more of a normal “take one game at a time” scenario. We had to make sure we won the first game and knew it would set us up for the whole tournament.

KO: How did the 1996 guys deal with that pressure and what did Clive Barker say to alleviate some of that pressure?
NT: Look, we were confident players; we had players that were the leaders in their own right at their clubs, so a lot of leaders in our group could alleviate that pressure. But above all we were a happy group, and going back to Clive, we weren’t in a prison camp. We were relaxed, we had time off during the tournament. We had special moments, going off to play golf once or twice. So there were moments where they let the guys go home to see their families – touch base, go to the movies, whatever. Look, pressure comes from underperforming and we were performing. The pressure was good pressure … it was a good feeling. Even after losing to Egypt it didn’t bother us much because we had already topped our group and that was the first objective. I think it’s just important to keep your heads and thinking about the next problem and not too far ahead in the tournament.

KO: With the likes of yourself, Lucas Radebe, Doctor Khumalo and others assuming leadership roles, who will the current team be looking at for leadership on and off the field?
NT: You’ve got [Siyabonga] Sangweni of Pirates who’s been there for a couple years. You’ve got [Bongani] Khumalo who’s been around for a while, and have a few [other] players who played at the World Cup who are leaders and captains of their teams. They have to come together and just relax and take the situation in their stride. But you need those leaders to come out.

KO: Before the start of 1996 tournament, Bafana won four out of their last six games, drawing the other two against Argentina and Germany. What are your thoughts about the current team and their form?
NT: Ja, it’s not pleasing at this moment in time, but it’s pretty much a team in process. You know, Gordon has only just taken over; before our tournament Clive had been with the team for a year and a bit. So obviously there’s going to be a bit of chopping-n-changing, finding his way with the team and the players; plus there’s a little bit of a difference in the situation [compared to ours]. Going back to the results, they’re not the desired results that you’d actually want, but understanding the circumstances. And I don’t think Gordon has played his trump card yet; I don’t think he’s played the team he’ll put out there for the opening match either. He’s also for a lot of reasons tried a lot of combinations because he doesn’t want the opposition to know how he’s going to play.

KO: While visiting SA in November, Ian Wright said he believed that “SA fans need to lower their expectations of Bafana for them to succeed at Afcon”. Do you agree with his sentiments?
NT: Yes, I think all that Bafana need to do is win the opening match and then the thought patterns will change, the confidence will come back to the fans. They need to play with freedom and not think that if they make one mistake they’ll get booed or hear a grumble in the crowd. You know, it’s a big ask and fans put a lot of pressure on players.

KO: What do you think are realistic expectation for Bafana at Afcon 2013?
NT: Like I said, don’t think too far ahead; let’s get out of the group. We have to get out of our group – it’s important. I don’t think too many hosts, if any, have ever failed at the first hurdle. So get into the quarter-final stage and then it’s just one game at a time. With the quarter-finals you’re three games away from the Final, and anything can happen over 90 minutes as Zambia showed.

By Mzamo Moloi

Previous comments on this story...

BHACAJUJU IN FULL SWING!!!
posted: 01:34 pm
Let's de game begin
thuth teller
posted: 01:36 pm
Kick Off has never been BORING sjoe!!!!!!!

This week is coming to an end and ive never read an article from the Glamorous Camp regarding the transfers.....................NIYABHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORA kick off.
thuth teller
posted: 01:37 pm
Kick Off have never been THIS boring sjoe!!!!!!!!
kaizer chiefs no:1 in the UK
posted: 01:38 pm
True
thuth teller
posted: 01:39 pm
Kick Off has never been THIS boring sjoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thuth teller
posted: 01:39 pm
Kick Off has never been THIS boring sjoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thuth teller
posted: 01:40 pm
Kick Off has never been THIS boring sjoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thuth teller
posted: 01:40 pm
Kick Off has never been THIS boring sjoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TREBLE CHAMP KING
posted: 01:47 pm
shame i kep sell zenkosi even Tovey is not sure whether they will make groups stages or not.
JaliManyisa
posted: 01:58 pm
I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF DIS CLASS OF 96 WAS PLAYING AFCON OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA
Cup Kings of SA Soccer
posted: 02:03 pm
Article by: Ryan Cooper I quote, “Oh how we miss Morgan Gould. Last night’s game again proved that the Sangweni/Khumalo partnership is just not working, and I’m hoping Igesund gives Bernard Parker and/or Lehlohonolo Majoro a starting chance against Algeria on Saturday.
A fair percentage of our fans are clueless about the game. The hand-ringing for coaches to make changes, the booing of players … how is this supposed to help the nation? Igesund was pleading for us to get behind the team, and by and large they did last night but for a few idiots who are not happy with the inclusion of Kaizer Chiefs players getting on the players’ backs......... Andile Jali, Klate, Myeni and Segolela are not in the final 23 man squad so you must just accept and move on idiots” Unquote
fe-yo84
posted: 02:03 pm
WENA...........................!too much preparation now,let the games begin,this guys will over train,ekse vir julle
ML.Zwane
posted: 02:05 pm
How can we not ask too much if over the years we know that the country was high up there with the best and that we pay expensive tickets to watch games that we end up losing or drawing? Players get paid even when they lose but we don't get compensated for buying tickets after we lose.

This has to be a fair thing, we invest money, time, emotions and a whole lot of things to support this team but we do not get the returns we deserve. Home games are a must-win and I don't tolerate Bafana Bafana drawing or losing home games. Sorry My Tovey that is unacceptable, we can lose overseas fine, but not here at home. It's like another man coming into your house and telling you how to do your wife, unacceptable mate!!!
Liqhame
posted: 02:12 pm
We are leaving in hope, the team lacks confidence and technical know how. For me if we get passed the group stages will be a miracle.

Just take the opening match against Cape Verde, they are strong and a nation who is improving by the day, they are ahead of in Fifa ranking, I just don't see us beating them with Furman & KG.
bramoks
posted: 02:17 pm
I agree with Ian Wright. We absolutely have no right believing that this team is a world beater let alone continental. We haven't done anything to suggest otherwise. So, I understand where he is coming from. We're the lowest ranked team in the group. We haven't beaten any significant opponent since 2010, though it must be said France were there for the taking, what with their internal squabbles. I don't belive in this team. I just hope we hit some luck. I will cheering the team anyhow.
bramoks
posted: 02:17 pm
I agree with Ian Wright. We absolutely have no right believing that this team is a world beater let alone continental. We haven't done anything to suggest otherwise. So, I understand where he is coming from. We're the lowest ranked team in the group. We haven't beaten any significant opponent since 2010, though it must be said France were there for the taking, what with their internal squabbles. I don't belive in this team. I just hope we hit some luck. I will cheering the team anyhow.
bramoks
posted: 02:17 pm
I agree with Ian Wright. We absolutely have no right believing that this team is a world beater let alone continental. We haven't done anything to suggest otherwise. So, I understand where he is coming from. We're the lowest ranked team in the group. We haven't beaten any significant opponent since 2010, though it must be said France were there for the taking, what with their internal squabbles. I don't belive in this team. I just hope we hit some luck. I will cheering the team anyhow.
Magaya: The Double Winner
posted: 02:18 pm
All arms akimbo, even sangweni.
TREBLE CHAMP KING
posted: 02:21 pm
a lot of South Africans are now coming to their senses.

Tomorrow is a big sad day for South Africans while some of us will be ready to advise where it went wrong and what can be done for a better way forward.

Lets accept, we have failed before we can even start, poor planning, players agents influence, politics and unfair treatment, lack of competency clearly one cannot expect good results with such challenges in your camp.
TREBLE CHAMP KING
posted: 02:23 pm
The funny thing is,the ANC and SAFA has trapped a white person to fail and he has just walked into their mission just like the Rugby unions n board did with Peter De Villiers.

This country has not transformed yet, there is too much hatred amongst South Africans.

Gordon has just made his haters happy by failing in advance.
Terms of use:

The comments posted do not reflect the views of KickOff.com. Users are reminded that no misuse of this comment facility will be tolerated. Any abusive, racist, inflammatory, defamatory, discriminatory comments or hate speech will be deleted and the user banned.

If legally obliged we will hand over your information under the Protection of Information Act.

Please report abusive posts to editor@kickoff.com.