Tiyani Mabunda reveals Peter Mokaba significance
Posted: 11 November 2016 Time: 22:05
Bafana Bafana midfielder Tiyani Mabunda says the Peter Mokaba Stadium is one he holds dear to his heart, and relishes his return to the pitch tomorrow afternoon.
Though he has spent two sessions training at the match venue since arriving as a late replacement for the injured Dean Furman on Wednesday evening, Mabunda is looking forward to running out onto the same pitch he made his PSL debut some five years ago.
The 28-year-old came on as a second half sub for Black Leopards, replacing Edgar Manaka in the 57th minute of their 2-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates on 12 August 2011.
"It's a very emotional day for me because my first PSL game played on the very same pitch, my first PSL start was played here in Polokwane, and my first national team call-up comes from here in Polokwane," he said on Thursday.
"It's a very significant situation for me, and I'm grateful for the opportuity given to me by God. it's not by my own ability that I'm here, it's a miracle from above."
'Shuga' has since been named in coach Shakes Mashaba's strating line-up, to play alongside Andile Jali in the heart of the midfield against Senegal in their mammoth World Cup qualifier tomorrow afternoon.
Having recetly played a pivotal role in his club Mamelodi Sundowns' CAF Champions League triumph, Mabunda believes his experience on the continent will come in handy against the West African giants.
"Playing in the Champions League campaign with Sundowns really helped me grow," he added.
"I believes that with the experience I gained there, with the assistance of my partner in midfield Hlompho Kekana, has really helped me a lot in being able to withstand the challenges that come with playing on the continent.
"I believe that I've learnt and I'm ready to take on the next challenge that comes up [for Bafana]."