Mokwena urges Bafana call-up for Downs defender


Co-coach Rulani Mokwena has thrown his support behind in-form Mamelodi Sundowns defender Lyle Lakay to receive a national team call-up after his impressive recent club displays.

The Cape Town-born defender has featured in all of the Brazilians' four opening league games of the DStv Premiership and impressed in Sunday's 3-0 hammering of TS Galaxy.

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Mokwena has now called for the youth national to receive a call-up to the senior men's squad by Belgian Hugo Broos.

"I watch Bafana Bafana, and watched Bafana against Ghana," Mokwena said.

"I watched the entire Cosafa tournament, and you want to ask me why I think Lyle Lakay is not in the Bafana team, I think because when I watch Bafana I see Evidence Makgopa, I see Bongokuhle Hlongwane upfront, and then I see a right-footed left-back, so [shrugs]."

Mokwena added that Sundowns would always like to see their players representing the national team.

"Look we respect the Bafana coach," Mokwena added.

"He's got to make his own decisions and he's got his own job to do. Can you imagine 52 million people who have opinions about who should be in the Bafana team?

"We can't do that, I'm a football coach I know what it's like to be put in a position where you are under a lot of scrutiny and pressure to pick certain players.

"But if we speak on meritocracy, if we speak about having the best players representing the national team then for sure without being biased and if you ask me about any Mamelodi Sundowns player, the first answer would definitely be yes.

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"Because I've also got to look after the interest of our players, we also want our players to be exposed to the national team.

"We want our players to represent the nation and that's why we sign the best players in the country.

"When you have the best players in the country you expect to go into a FIFA window without any player in fact during the FIFA break.

"The best is for us to go to the MDC [MultiChoice Diski Challenge] side, our Under-19s and Under-13s, and hold training sessions there.

"That's what we would like to do during the FIFA break, to try to breed this culture, playing style into our youth and the only way to do that is by having all our players representing the national team.

"So, maybe a simple way to answer is a yes, we love our players, we believe in our players and believe that they are the best in the country.

"When they show that they are the best and work hard and on merit show that they deserve to be in the national team.

"Then of course without putting pressure on the national team technical team, of course, the answer is yes."

Sundowns next travel to face Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium for a league clash on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the players who've left Sundowns in the current window

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