Monday Column: Rodney deserves Bafana chance
Posted: 23 October 2017 Time: 13:00
After Rodney Ramagalela scored yet again for Polokwane City at the weekend, KickOff.com editor Tshepang Mailwane feels Stuart Baxter should include the striker in his Bafana Bafana squad.
During a time when South Africa is struggling to find local strikers who are as lethal as Siyabonga Nomvethe, Daniel Mudau or Mabhudi Khenyeza, Polokwane City’s Rodney Ramagalela is doing quite well to show that there are a few local forwards who can bang in the goals.
He’s got everything a coach would want in a striker – the speed, the energy, the physique, a powerful shot from range and an eye for goal.
Yet he is not getting the credit he deserves for the work he has been doing for City in the last year-and-a-half. I would actually put my head on the block and say he is currently the best local striker in the PSL.
Ramagalela may not have proved his worth at Mamelodi Sundowns, after joining them from relegated Black Leopards, but he has grown to become a top finisher in front of goal. At Sundowns competition for places has always been tough, so he was never able to cement a place in the line-up, while his loan spell at Golden Arrows did not go as well as he would have liked.
At City, however, he has found a place where he can flourish.
He currently tops the Absa Premiership scoring charts with six goals, which is three less than the nine he managed to score all of last season. At the rate he is going, Ramagalela could go on to reach the 20-goal mark we have not seen from a striker since Nomvethe did it at Moroka Swallows.
With the back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers coming up against Senegal in November, what would coach Stuart Baxter lose by including Ramagalela in his squad?
The game Bafana have been ordered to replay against the Lions of Teranga will be played in Polokwane and Ramagalela would feel at home and he would no doubt be psyched to perform in front of his home crowd.
Ramagalela is not new to playing on the continent. He has played in the CAF Confederation Cup with Leopards and he has played for the national Under-23 team, so he would not be fazed by the challenge of playing for his country.
On current form, Ramagalela certainly deserves a chance in the national team.