Shongwe backs Vilakazi for Bafana

FSibusiso Vilakazi. Pic: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images.

Bidvest Wits midfielder Jabulani Shongwe believes his captain, Sibusiso Vilakazi, should play a bigger role in Bafana Bafana as coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba rebuilds the side.

Mashaba will announce his first squad tomorrow in Cape Town, to face Sudan away and Nigeria at home in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

Vilakazi, the reigning Premier Soccer League Footballer-of-the-Year and Absa Premiership Player’s Player-of-the-Season, has been on the fringes of the national team without playing a starring role. Shongwe admitted he won’t be surprised if his own name is not in Mashaba’s list.

“I haven’t had a good start to the season,” Shongwe said.

“If my name is not there I will accept and work harder. I am being honest about that. Maybe as the season goes that’s when I will be ready to fight for a place in the national team. I think S’bu should be in the squad because if you look at last season he was playing well but wasn’t called up. Now it’s his time to play in the national team as a regular.”

Shongwe’s main focus is helping the Clever Boys overcome a 2-0 loss in the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal at home to Orlando Pirates. The side will travel to Orlando Stadium looking to book their place in their second successive domestic final, after they lost to the Buccaneers in the Nedbank Cup final earlier this year.

“We have to try and get an early goal because if they score it will be hard,” Shongwe said. “If they score first it is hard for you to come back. They won’t sit back. They will come at us.”

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