Bafana not at full fitness


Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Jackson Mabokgwane, has said that his team is not as fit as Bafana head coach, Shakes Mashaba, would like them to be.

Mabokgwane believes that the South African team are on the road to full fitness and added that they will work harder to make sure they are ready for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in February.

“We are almost there as a team,” Mabokgwane said.

“The recent friendly game showed us exactly where we are as far as our fitness level is concerned. We are not quite happy with the fitness level we are at now because the coach expected us to be fully fit by now. But we should be okay before the upcoming friendly match.”

Bafana’s opening match will take place against host nation Gabon in the capital, Libreville, on Wednesday, before playing against Cameroon four days later.

Mashaba said that he expects his 23-man squad to “pull up their socks” this week.

"Cameroon and Gabon will give us exactly what we expect, going into the tournament," he said.

"This game against Zambia wasn’t our yardstick. The level of fitness from our players was questionable and we need to work on that. Let us not forget that some of them last played a few days before Christmas before taking a break so this has affected their fitness. It only takes a couple of days for players to lose their fitness if they take a break."