Tercious Malepe hoping to continue his rise with Bafana Bafana in COSAFA Castle Cup
Posted: 30 June 2017 Time: 15:22
Bafana Bafana defender Tercious Malepe believes his time at junior international level has thoroughly prepared him for a career with the national first team.
The 20-year-old has risen to prominence in South Africa, whom he represented in their title-winning 2016 COSAFA Cup campaign, while also being part of the team that contested the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Amajita captain and Orlando Pirates starlet is now ready to make the most of another performance in the Castle Cup where Bafana come into the fold at the quarter-final stage as host nation and defending champions.
“I believe it is very important to be in the junior national teams before you can graduate to the senior team because the experience you get there is immeasurable,” Malepe said on the official SAFA website.
“To be among the youngsters called up into the Bafana Bafana squad in a population of 55 million, is a great honour and we really appreciate the belief the coaches have in us.
“But you must remember that being an ambassador for your country is not easy because it comes with responsibilities.
“Being here shows that as youngsters we are doing something right, and we are growing as players. We are also fortunate that our U-20 head coach Thabo Senong is part of the setup, and it will be easier for us to gel in the team. He is pushing us very hard. It also shows that irrespective of which division you play, when you do well you will be rewarded.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s Castle Cup quarter-final against Tanzania, he said: “We have been working hard so we can be sharper, and of course it will not be an easy match. Our supporters will be there and they want results, we have the likes of Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Mario Booysen and Lorenzo Gordinho, unfortunately Aubrey Ngoma had to withdraw from the squad because of injury – but these are the players who are used to playing week in and week out in the PSL, so they have a lot of experience and we sharing ideas as to how to approach this tournament.
“We are the defending champions but it won’t be easy. We have to be very focused and take one game at a time. The camp has been going very well, and we have been working hard with new coach Stuart Baxter. He has expressed happiness about the squad and that brings more confidence in the players.”