Bafana’s Egypt-Based Teen Lights Up COSAFA
Bafana Bafana head coach, Stuart Baxter, has heaped praise on South African rising star, Gift Links, after the teenager’s starring role in the 4-1 victory over Namibia.
See Links in action in the gallery above
The 19-year-old has been playing his football overseas after taking a big leap to play in the Egyptian Premier League despite his young years, and his performances in North Africa for Alassiouty have already seen him attract interest from elsewhere.
Links was handed his Bafana debut earlier this week when Baxter put him in the starting XI for the COSAFA Cup plate semifinal, and the teen didn’t disappoint as he played a major role in the win, asserting himself well at senior level.
Baxter, who gave debuts to seven players over the last week, was full of praise for the talented youngster, saying that he ‘did himself no harm at all’.
Speaking to the media after beating Namibia, Baxter said, "Gift did very‚ very well. He's not been with us very long, and I thought even in the first half he was flashing in and out a bit because his position‚ partly‚ in our pressing was a little bit too deep.
"Partly when we got the ball on the far side his position in the pocket‚ so he could get the ball and turn people‚ he was drifting onto them a bit where he had to be very tight with his control – which he was sometimes – and that's what made him very good.
“Gift did himself no harm at all. In the second half he tired and he got a bit sloppy. You know‚ players‚ when they get on the far side and they're not right in front of you they don't have you reminding them all the time‚ they can get a bit sloppy. But I thought overall he did well for us."
The former Platinum Stars youngster will now be hoping to get another chance to show what he can do on Friday night when Bafana take on Botswana at Peter Mokaba Stadium.