Thursday , July 29 2021

Fortune Makaringe: There is nothing to fear for Bafana Bafana against Nigeria

Fortune Makaringe (left) met with his former teammate Maritzburg United, Lebo Maboe, in training Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

DURBAN – Maritzburg United Fortune Makaringe midfielder's dynamics are ready to take his chance with both hands if it should debut when Bafana Bafana takes Nigeria in a World Cup qualifying for Nations at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Makaringe was a surprise pack when Bafana coach Stuart Baxter announced his squad to Nigeria last week.

The diminutive midfielder was a vital tactic in the middle of the park this season despite the slow start of United in the campaign.

Bafana was hit by several injuries to key players, including Dean Furman, Bongani Zungu and Kamohelo Mokotjo.

After his team was retired by Highlands Park, Makaringe said he was excited and looking forward to the challenge.

"I have to be prepared. This is essential. The coach did not call us to add numbers. We need to respect that the wounded boys have been fighting hard for the nation and we have to do the same.

"We have to go there and give our best to show the best performances as players," said Makaringe with a smile on his face.

Makaringe will fight with people like Hlompo Kekana and Tiyani Mabunda for a place in the middle of the field.

"I am very happy to be in the Bafana team. This shows that if you work constantly you are obliged to take the rewards of your efforts.

"For me and for the team, this is really great. The call came at the moment. It is the dream of each sport to represent your nation.

"Bafana's call should always make him happy. It does not matter what's coming. He's there to represent the whole nation," he added.

Makaringe received his Bafana call in a bizarre way. He explained: "I literally had no phone when the team was announced.

"My neighbor congratulated him, and I was surprised because we lost to Polokwane City last weekend. I knew that I played well, but I was confused by the fact that I congratulated myself.

"Yes. Congratulations on the call." I asked him what he called? How come he came? "Because the screen was wrong on my phone, but when I came back to find it, I had many texts. People at home called me.

"Later, Lebo (Maboe, his former teammate and friend) called me and said:" I tried to do it and you can not access it. "

"I asked him what was going on. He said that they called me to the Bafana team. Then they approached Ibhola Lethu (sports show on television). Then I saw my name and I was happy."

Nigeria's Super Eagles is at the top of the group with nine points.

"Football is soccer, but we are not afraid of them, although we must be cautious. There is nothing to fear. The fact that they are good enough means that we are also good. We have a lot to do with it," he explained Makaringe.

Baxter regularly convened American midfielder in the last Bafana games.

Siphesihle Ndlovu had a good chance with Bafana, while Lebo Maboe, who is now in Mamelodi Sundowns, is a regular on the national team.

"Credit must be directed to our technical team. They have done a lot to improve our standards as players. The courses they have made are pay dividends," Makaringe wrote.

He will meet with Maboe during his time with Bafana.

"I'm happy to watch Lebo in the national team. He was fine. Lebo is more like a brother to me. I share a lot with him.

"His progress is really pushing me. He is inspired by my life. As much as it's new, it's a motivation for me," Makaringe concluded.


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