Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Young gun Appollis enjoying his time with Bafana

'The camp is going well, in training the boys are pushing hard so that on Saturday we get the result we want,' said the Bafana attacker.

It will be interesting to see just how much game time Bafana Bafana’s newest young guns – Bradley Cross, Jayden Adams and Oswin Appollis – get in this week’s 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Benin and Rwanda.

Despite Bafana head coach Hugo Broos indicating he would largely have a settled squad by the time this game came around, injury somewhat forced the hand of the Belgian, meaning these three 22 year-olds could make their debut on Saturday against Benin at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, or on Tuesday against Rwanda.

Appollis is Broos’ attacking option of the three, and could just get a chance with Lyle Foster, Lebo Mothiba and Thapelo Maseko all on the sidelines.

The former South Africa Under-20 forward is having a fine season with Polokwane City, with three goals and three assists across all competitions. And the Capetonian is enjoying his time in his first Bafana camp.

“It is a very good experience, I am with people who have been in the game for years, and my job is to learn a lot from them,” said Appollis.

“The camp is going well, in training the boys are pushing hard so that on Saturday we get the result we want.”

Appollis added that he heard about his Bafana call-up from a friend and that he immediately told his mother.

“It is a very proud moment for her, and me,” he said.

The youngster, meanwhile, is matter-of-fact in describing the role he is best suited to.

“Kicking the ball in the net and assisting (goals) and helping the team over the line and (to) get victory.”


Bafana will be favourites to get those three points against Benin, but the away side are likely to make it difficult for Bafana to break them down, and South Africa have struggled against sides that sit behind the ball, notably in recent friendly draws with Namibia and Swaziland.

Benin’s most capped player is former PSG, Sunderland and West Brom striker Stephane Sessegnon, but at 39, he has not been included in the squad for the Bafana game.

Striker Steve Mounie, who plays in France’s Ligue 1 for Brest and who previously played in the English Premier League with Huddersfield, is expected to lead the line against South Africa.  

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