Phumlani Ntshangase relishing Bafana Bafana call-up
Posted: 2 September 2015 Time: 17:36
Bidvest Wits midfielder Phumlani Ntshangase hopes to stake his claim for a regular spot in the squad following his call-up to Bafana Bafana for the Afcon qualifier against Mauritania.
The 20-year-old, who is originally a full-back, has grown into his new role as a holding midfielder under coach Gavin Hunt since last season, which has ultimately resulted in him being rewarded with a senior national team call-up.
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Ntshangase’s selection has come as a promotion from the junior ranks after he previously featured for the South Africa Under-23s and most recently for Owen Da Gama’s side in the Olympic qualifiers against neighbours Zimbabwe.
“It’s great feeling [to be part of Bafana]. It’s a big step from the Under-23s to the senior national team and it’s a good thing to be called up here because it means some work has been noticed,” Ntshangase says.
“National teams from Under-17, where I’ve played before, the setups are not that different and we pretty much do the same things because they want the players to grow up with the same mentality, especially when we get called up into the senior team, so that we don’t get lost.”
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The Durban-born defensive rock also sees the call-up to the senior team as an opportunity to showcase his potential to the technical team and try to solidify his place in future Bafana camps.
“I’m so excited about this, it’s another opportunity for me to show my potential and prove what I can offer to my country. I’m still young so I’m looking forward to this, and just being called here is an honour,” he says.
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“[My place in the team] is all dependent on myself … the hard work I’m putting in is the thing that will show I deserve to be here, so working hard, being focused, respecting my work as well as the people who are older than me is what will take me far in football.”