Norodien relishing Bafana chance
Posted: 12 July 2017 Time: 14:47
Riyaad Norodien believes his time with Bafana Bafana has sharpened him up ahead of his return to Orlando Pirates, while also soothing the agony of heartache suffered by the Buccaneers last season.
The exciting winger started all three of South Africa’s games at the recently-concluded Cosafa Castle Cup, the same number of starts he managed during the 2016/17 Absa Premiership season with Pirates, who finished their 80th-anniversary campaign without any silverware.
Norodien, who made another start in the Telkom Knockout - as well as seven substitute appearances in the league - has also been retained for the Bafana squad that is due to play Botswana in CHAN qualifying this weekend.
“The [Bafana] coach [Stuart Baxter] has given me the opportunity and so I am grateful to be showcasing my talents and showing why I can be here and why he should pick me,” said Norodien.
“At the end of the day, I want to do myself proud and also my country, along with the coach, because if he believes in me then who am I not to believe in myself? So I am here to do a job and I would want to do it to the best of my ability.
“This [being with the national team] is most definitely the step I needed. Even though I was supposed to have been on a [pre-season] break, I will rather be here getting minutes, getting game time, getting that hunger back because at the end of the day, when I go back to my club [Pirates] I would like to perform and do well so that I can show the fans that this is why I am at Pirates.
“Me getting minutes now is vital because when I go back to Pirates, then I am at least hungrier and will want to achieve more with the team. Last season wasn’t great but with the Cosafa Cup that I had, I am now looking forward and hopefully with the CHAN coming up I can do my best and show the coach why I deserve a place in the team,” he says.
The Capetonian adds that several elements also need to correct at Pirates ahead of the new season following their shortcomings last term, where they finished outside of the top eight for the first time in the PSL era.
“I think we just need to relook at certain things, what was wrong last season and try to correct it and make it a better season because everybody will look at Pirates and say ‘we are a small team’,” he said.
“Things were down [last season] but I think with the new season coming we can try and do our best because when you get minutes [in the national team] like this it is also best for your career. Hopefully, I can help Pirates turn things around for the new season,” elaborated the 22-year-old.