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Riyaad Norodien impressed by pool of talent in young Bafana Bafana squad at Cosafa Castle Cup

Posted: 7 July 2017 Time: 11:10

Bafana Bafana newcomer Riyaad Norodien believes the majority of squad members at the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup have the talent and work ethic required to break into the national first team.

The Orlando Pirates winger was part of the South Africa side that narrowly lost to Tanzania in the quarter-finals of the regional tournament this past Sunday as the defending champions crashed out of the competition they won last year.

Bafana did, however, manage to bounce back against Botswana at Moruleng Stadium in midweek as they won their Plate semi-final match 2-0, where Norodien opened his scoring account for the national team with a blistering strike before Judas Moseamedi added the second late into injury time.

That result meant Stuart Baxter's side will now face Namibia in the Plate final today after Ricardo Mannetti's side beat Swaziland also in the other semi-final.

Norodien, who came into the Bafana camp as a replacement for Thabo Cele, was singled out by Baxter for his cameo against Tanzania in the quarter-final.

With clearly an abundance of young, talented players, of which seven made their debuts against Botswana, Norodien says South Africa has a bright future in this assembled squad and he's confident that some of them will get a full call-up in the not-too-distant future.

“I think we’ve got a bunch of great young players that are upcoming and maybe 12 months away that will make their full Bafana Bafana debut,” said Norodien.

“So I think they just need to keep their heads up high, keep being humble, keep grounded, work hard - myself also.

“We just need to keep on working and doing what the coach [Stuart Baxter] wants because, in coach Stuart, we have a great coach, great person, great leader, and you don't expect too much but he gives you a role.

“If you execute the role well there are always opportunities for you to come back to the national team, help the country because South African football players, we are ambitious. But we have to start small and work ourselves up.

“So, to all the upcoming youngsters, for me is to tell them to keep working hard and never give up on your dreams because it can always become a reality.”

Friday’s Plate final between the 2015 champions Namibia and 2016 winners Bafana will take place at Moruleng Stadium (17h00).

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Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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