Matlaba: The Bafana full-back position is available for any player

Bafana defender Thabo Matlaba says he wants to make the full-back position in the Bafana team his own, following injuries to Tsepo Masilela and Punch Masenamela

Orlando Pirates and Bafana defender Thabo Matlaba revealed that he wants to transfer his club form to the national team where he has been playing second fiddle to injured Tsepo Masilela.

Matlaba believes that he can make the full-back position in the Bafana team his own, as the preferred players are often out injured. He says that he is ready to help Gordon Igesund in that department, starting from Saturday night against Central African Republic.    

“I think the full-back position in the national team is available for any player who is ready to take up the challenge,” Matlaba told the Pirates website. 

“Most guys that have been preferred in that position are currently injured or recovering from injury. With that current situation at play, I have told myself that I must make the best of this opening and show the coach that I want to help the team in that department,” he said.

The diminutive defender is expected to start for Bafana against Central African Republic ahead of Sundowns’ Tebogo Langerman, having been with the squad during the 2013 Afcon.

However Matlaba said that he will respect the decision of coach Igesund if he prefers to play another player in the full-back position come Saturday.

“Playing in the African Champions League has also given me more confidence to play at international level. If selected to start the game on Saturday I will give it my all and help my country collect all three points on offer, but if not then I will definitely support whoever the coach decides on,” added Thabo Matlaba.