Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns star Ronwen Williams is excited to be back in the national team.
The Bafana Bafana skipper missed the friendly matches against Namibia and DR Congo last month due to illness. South Africa drew goalless with Namibia before beating DR Congo 1-0 courtesy of Lyle Foster’s first half goal days later.
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old was in goal on Saturday when Mamelodi Sundowns lost to Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 Cup final.
South Africa will play Eswatini on Friday at the FNB Stadium before travelling to face next year’s AFCON hosts Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan on Tuesday.
Mamelodi Sundowns star Williams is happy to be back
The Bafana Bafana skipper was on media duties ahead of the next set of friendlies and he spoke about his excitement to be back in the squad, among other things.
“I am obviously happy to be back. Obviously disappointed that I missed the last camp as well due to illness, got a small needle now but I should be fine. I am always happy and proud to wear the Bafana jersey and be part of the team,” began the experienced goalkeeper.
“So whatever efforts I need to make in order to be ready for next week, I will make sure that I do that. I am just happy to be part of this set up again and looking forward to the games.
“It is going to be tough ones coming up, but we have got a good thing going as a team. We have been improving in the last few months, last few years so I am happy to be part of it and long may it continue.”
— Mahlatse Mphahlele (@BraMahlatse) October 10, 2023
The Mamelodi Sundowns star was then asked about the team spirit compared to the 2019 squad and he had this to say:
“The most important thing is the spirit amongst the team. In camp, everyone feels part of the team, no one feels smaller than the next one. We are all at different stages in our careers but once we are together in camp, it is one big happy family and you can see it on the pitch,” he added.
“We go out there and we want to die for one another and that is why we have positive results like we had against Morocco. When everything is against us, we keep fighting because we believe in each other and like I said the spirit amongst the group is amazing – it is probably the best that I have been a part of.
“The coach (Hugo Broos) always emphasises the importance of the spirit being good in camp and since he’s taken over it has been amazing. There have been a lot of new faces and familiar faces as well but once we are together we are one big happy family.”
On a final note, Williams spoke on the lack of fans in the stadium and efforts the team have made recently and what they hope to do in the future.
“It is not nice as we don’t enjoy playing in front of an empty stadium. It does not give a good taste and we don't get a good vibe,” he maintained.
“Like I have said in previous press conferences we need to do more as the association and as the team. The fans feel there is no link between the two of us as they just see us on the field and that’s it.
The team visited a school in Soweto last time out and Williams believes it should continue.
“We could see the excitement it brought; to see your favourite footballer in front of you, getting a hug and getting a photo from him. We could see the pride in their faces and the excitement it brought. Maybe we should go back to doing that, obviously we used to do that before.
“It is something myself and the other senior players will put to the table to the technical team as well as the association to see how we can give back as well. We need our fans and without them we are nothing,” the Mamelodi Sundowns star concluded.
As the team intensifies preparations for the World Cup qualifiers next month and next year's AFCON, Williams will be hoping to feature in the friendly games against Eswatini and Cote d’Ivoire.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago