Rama-G downplays his non-call up for Bafana


Leading Absa Premiership goal scorer and first winner of this season’s Goal of the Month, Rodney ‘Rama-G’ Ramagalela has downplayed Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s failure to call him up to the national squad.

Interviewed after his award for Player of the Month and winner of the Goal of the Month at the Premier Soccer League offices in Parktown, the Polokwane City marksman said he was confident the players called up were capable of doing the job for the country.

Read: Absa renews partnership with PSL

“It’s not about who is called or not called but it’s about the coach having selected the players that he thinks can deliver the desired results for him on the day,” he said. “I may be the current leading goal scorer in our league but whether I am called or not called is entirely up to coach.”

Ramagalela was speaking ahead of the Fifa World Cup qualifier for Russia 2018 between Bafana Bafana and Senegal which the Lions of Taranga emphatically won 2–0 in Ramagalela’s hometown

of Polokwane on 10 November.

This has shattered Bafana’s dreams of qualifying for Russia 2018 as they lie bottom of the group with four points. The return leg of the match, which will be more of a formality than anything, will be played on 14 November at Stade Leopold Senghor in Senegal.

Read: Hunt, Josephs wrap up Absa Premiership monthly awards

“I am sure when the coach feels I am ready… he will issue the invitation for me to join the squad. For now, I am going to continue putting in the hard work and helping my team reap the rewards of what could be a good season for us.”

For his exploits in the premiership, Ramagalela, who rose to prominence during his days as a Black Leopards player in 2009, won the double as he scooped Goal of the Month (August/September) and Player of the Month for October.

His stunningly taken chipped goal during Polokwane City’s 2–1 away win over Mamelodi Sundowns back in August, received an overwhelming majority of votes from football fans and takes his tally so far in the league to six goals.

In the Player of the Month category, he emerged as the winner following a judging process by a panel of experts and broadcasters ahead of Sandile Zuke of Chippa United, Baroka FC’s duo Gift Motupa and Sipho Moeti, Thabo Qalinge of Orlando Pirates and Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs.

Read: Is Bafana Bafana a team worth supporting?

Also recognised was Bloemfontein Celtic coach Veselin Jelusic, the man behind the revival of the fortunes of Siwelele, who scooped the Coach of the Month for October. Jelusic from Serbia, who is in his first coaching job in South Africa, was favoured ahead of Baroka FC coach Kgoloko Thobejane, Luc Eymael of Free State Stars and Chippa United’s new coach, Tebogo Moloi.

“We’re over the moon with the recognition but at the same time we know it’s far from over [the league] and that soon the going will get tough and we need to work even harder if we are to get the results we need,” said the Serbian, thanking the supporters for their loyalty which he described as crucial for the team going forward.

Sipho Siso

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