Bafana defender: We’ve grown as players

Bafana defender Mario Booysen

Bafana Bafana defender Mario Booysen says playing in the Cosafa Cup and Chan qualifiers gave him invaluable international experience under coach Stuart Baxter.

The former SuperSport United defebder was one of a few players to have been selected to play in both competitions by Baxter and the 28-year-old admits that he will go back to his club with broader knowledge of the game, having plied his trade for the national team.

“Overall we’ve learnt a lot over these four weeks and we walk away from this camp today knowing that we’ve grown as players,” he told SAFA.net.

“We are going back to our clubs with more football knowledge and these experiences must be taken on board in order for us as players to grow.

“Whether you’re young or experienced, each player in this camp can walk away with a positive attitude and I think it was a fruitful four weeks.

“At times it felt long but if we have to look at it holistically, we were here to work and wanted to do well in representing our country. We were priviledged to have been chosen and we all did well as a team collectively,” he added.

The Mamelodi Sundowns man extended his gratitude to Baxter for the opportunity, which saw him captain the side in the two-legged Chan qualifiers against Botswana.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me, there are other players who would have loved to be in this position and for me to be here is a great priviledge.

“Going forward it’s only more hard work in order for me to improve, so I think I had to take things on board and try to improve in certain instances, especially in the games.

“I can now go back and check where I went wrong and If I get another call-up I will try and be better as a footballer and possibly also a leader.

“It wasn’t difficult for me to be captain because the group of boys here are professional and mature, and because there were other leaders and experienced guys in the team,” he concluded.

Photo: Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

– This story originally appeared on SportsClub.co.za