BAFANA Bafana have completed their preparations ahead of the friendly international match against Poland which will be played in the capital Warsaw tomorrow, at the National Stadium.
Kick-Off is at 8.45pm at the 58-thousand seater venue that has a retractable roof and is the largest stadium in Poland. It hosted the opening match, second round group matches, quarter-final matches, and one semi-final of the UEFA Euro 2012, co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
It is also a multi-purpose stadium able to host sporting events, concerts, cultural events, and conferences. The official opening of the stadium took place January 19, and the first football match was played on February 29, Poland’s goalless draw against Portugal.
After three training sessions, South Africa’s head coach Gordon Igesund declared a clean bill of health as all the players are available for selection. This will be his third match in charge following encounters against Brazil and Mozambique last month.
“I believe this is going to be a great match because it’s a good test for us to play against top European sides. Also we don’t often get a chance to play against European sides.
“This is the kind of match we wanted and I believe the boys will learn a lot. I am looking forward to the match as much as the players, and I hope it will be a worthwhile exercise as this is an important period since we are building for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations,” said Igesund.
“We will surely give a good account of ourselves.”
This is the second time that the two sides meet. They met shortly before the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in South Africa, with Terror Fanteni scoring the solitary goal in the match.
Poland is ranked 54 th to Bafana Bafana’s 76 th position.
“The spirit in the camp is excellent and there are a lot of positives. We have had just three training sessions, but we have done a lot during that time. We are really looking forward to that match and for us it’s a great challenge playing a good side like Poland. But we have quality players that I believe will be able to handle the situation,” said Bafana Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo.
The defender took over the armband from former skipper Steven Pienaar who recently announced his retirement from international football.
“Being captain is a great responsibility and I am honoured to be leading these players. This will not affect my game as I know how big this role is,” added the Greece-based player.
“Steve is a great friend of mine and he used to give a lot of advice to players. We all looked up to him. His absence is a great loss and he will be missed but at the same time we have to move on.”
Bafana will fly to Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday morning to face that country in another friendly international match on Tuesday night.
That clash will take place at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi and the match kicks off at 6pm SA time.