Buckley questions Bafana passion
Posted: 8 November 2017 Time: 11:00
Former South Africa international Delron Buckley has questioned the level of commitment by some of the current Bafana Bafana crop, feeling that too many are happy to remain in a comfort zone.
With South Africa facing a challenging task to qualify for Russia 2018, Buckley – who was capped 73 times for the national team – feels players nowadays are not showing enough fight and grit when called up to represent their nation.
“In the national team we have good quality players: we have the skills in these players, so why isn’t it functioning?” he tells KickOff.com. “You have players like [Keagan] Dolly, [Kermit] Erasmus, [Percy] Tau … we have good-quality players with so much skill, and with these players we should be qualifying and beating countries. But I’m not sure what’s happening – maybe players are too much in their comfort zones. Back in the day when we put on the national team jersey, it was time to kill – we knew there were millions of people watching us, so we had to produce, we had to win.”
With Thulani Serero’s antics the talk of the town after snubbing the national team, Buckley says he’s disappointed that many others are not wearing their heart on their Bafana Bafana sleeves.
“What I can see from the outside is that the players overseas, earning the big money, are comfortable,” he says. “The minute you put on that national team jersey, it’s not the same as putting on your club jersey, which you wear week in and week out. You only play seven, eight games a year for your country, so the minute you put on that jersey, you have to give 110% - you’ve got to want to win, not as an individual, but as a team. I’m sure [Stuart] Baxter‘s trying to make the team want to win together, but all the players have to pull in the same direction.”
With Bafana needing to win both matches over Senegal in the next week to book their ticket to next year’s Mundial, Buckley feels the six points are definitely attainable.
“Anything is possible,” the former Borussia Dortmund and Arminia Bielefeld winger says. “Football is such a lovely sport, and that’s what I love about it – anything can happen, anything! Tables can turn overnight. But it’s doable.”