David Notoane says Mamelodi Sundowns' Motjeka Madisha thrives in pressure
Posted: 5 October 2017 Time: 14:30
Mamelodi Sundowns’ reserve team coach David Notoane believes Motjeka Madisha can handle the pressure of being part of a Bafana Bafana squad that is under pressure to win at all costs.
Bafana face Burkina Faso in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at FNB Stadium on Saturday and Madisha has been called up to replace injured captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.
He might only be 22, but Madisha has gained a lot of experience with junior national teams as well as in the CAF Champions League with Sundowns. He has previously been called up to the senior national team by former coach Shakes Mashaba, so he won’t be fazed by the challenge Bafana face.
Coach Stuart Baxter could go with the SuperSport United centre-back pairing of Morgan Gould and Clayton Daniels to start the game on Saturday, while there is also the option of Cape Town City defender Robyn Johannes. Madisha, though, cannot be ruled out of playing a part because of the experience he has gained in the last year or so at club level.
“That [pressure] is what brings the best out of Madisha. He has the temperament.
“Under coach Pitso [Mosimane] he has matured tremendously and he understands the demands of that level of football,” says Notoane, who worked with Madisha in Downs’ MultiChoice Diski Challenge side.
“His experience in the Champions League will come in handy because he understands the importance of staying focused. In the Bafana game the margins of errors are zero, but he will be ready. The professionalism demanded by coach Pitso will also come in handy for Madisha. I think the call-up could not have come at a better time. I am happy for him because he is working hard and he is more focused."
Notoane says Madisha’s call-up is good for the Sundowns academy, because youngsters will be inspired to work harder.
"For the academy at Sundowns, we will be very happy. The players will see that there’s nothing standing in their way of going all the way. It’s very exciting to see Madisha in the squad and we hope he stays long, for inspiration for players like Thendo [Mukumela] and Keletso Makgalwa. Percy [Tau] is also in the Bafana squad, so the sky is the limit.”