Nontshinga takes Bafana lesson to Cosmos

Newly-capped Bafana Bafana striker Siyabonga Nontshinga is looking to translate the confidence gained from a national team set-up to club level.

His form will be valuable in helping his side, Jomo Cosmos shrug off a sluggish start in the Absa Premiership.

Nontshinga’s early season showings for Cosmos did enough to attract the attention of the national team selectors, resulting in the first two caps of his career as he came on as a substitute against both Cote d’Ivoire (a 1-1 draw in Port Elizabeth) and Zimbabwe (a 2-1 defeat in Harare).

Now the 24-year-old aims to take his game to another level on his return to Absa Premiership duties this weekend.

“It was a fantastic experience for me to be part of the camp and be around such good players. It feels like the world has opened up for me.

“It gave me so much confidence to get the call-up, now I want to take that morale back to my club and improve even further,” he told PSL.co.za.

A debut against Africa’s top team, in one’s own backyard, is the stuff of dreams for any player; especially one that just a few years back was playing for the likes of Rainbow Stars in the Castle League in Port Elizabeth and Maximillians in Uitenhage in the Vodacom league.

“It was a special moment for me, to come on for Bafana Bafana in my home town in front of my own people, something I’ll never forget and I feel honoured.

“It’s been a quick journey for me and of course I was surprised to get the call up. Bra J (Cosmos manager Jomo Sono) has been great in believing in me and giving me the chance to play in the PSL and get experience and exposure.

“I have also received wonderful support from my Cosmos team-mates – they were all congratulating me and sending me SMS’s wishing me good luck,” said the former Bay United and Nathi Lions front-man.

He admits the trip up north to Zimbabwe was a tough one, but this is not taking anything away from his enthusiasm.

“It was difficult, playing in front of a hostile crowd. The pitch was also difficult to play on (it was a synthetic surface) especially seeing we were unable to train on it before the game.

“Of course we were disappointed with the result, but such experiences are valuable in terms of building character.”

Nontshinga is Ezenkosi’s leading scorer with three Absa Premiership goals so far this season.

His team will next be in action this Saturday, when they host Golden Arrows at the Sinaba Stadium (3:30pm kick off).