Middendorp reflects on the importance of Bafana’s AFCON qualification
Bafana Bafana’s qualification to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) will improve the standard of the Premier Soccer League in the next two months drastically as players will be fighting for place in Sturt Baxter’s squad. This is the view of Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp as he was reflecting on the importance of Bafana’s qualification and how the players will fight for the 23 available spots in the squad. Chiefs only had two players in the Bafana team that beat Libya last Sunday to finish second in Group E behind Nigeria, but both Bruce Bvuma and Daniel Cardoso didn’t make the match day squad. For a squad dominated by locally based players, the German born coach says this qualification means a lot to the PSL, its clubs and South Africa. Baxter had also praised the PSL for accepting his request to bring forward some important fixtures so that players from Bidvest Wits, Supersport United and Kaizer Chiefs could be allowed to depart earlier than scheduled for Libya. This allowed the team to have sufficient time to prepare in Tunisia and plot the downfall of the Mediterranean Knights. Middendorp who had also attended the SA U23 3-0 thrashing of Angola earlier this week, says the future looks bright for local football.