Although Bafana Bafana failed to boost their standing in the continent’s pecking order at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), the value of the individual players has risen, thanks to coach Shakes Mashaba’s unconventional selection process.
Player agent Steve Kapeluschnik said the benefits of being in the national team set-up was that it increased the market value of a player.
“When players become international players, it does make them more valuable. There will be a difference between a national team player and a regular club player,” Kapelschnik said.
“It’s one of those things that adds to the profile or the CV of any other person looking for work. If the CV suggests that the person has more experience, then they will be in a good position.”
Among the unlikely picks in Mashaba’s squad, Rivaldo Coetzee, Fagrie Lakay, Nana Ntuli and Dumisani Msibi were some of the players to benefit from selection, while Bongani Ndulula and Thamsanqa Sangweni were able to revive their careers after being discarded by Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively.
Ndulula – now at AmaZulu – has been linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs, and having found form on loan at Chippa United, Sangweni would have clubs lining-up for his signature.
In the past, coaches had a penchant for selecting already accomplished players, but Mashaba was bold in picking many new caps
Striker David Zulu, whose selection in the national team last year raised eyebrows, recently moved from Chippa to Chiefs during the January transfer window.
In the past, coaches had a penchant for selecting already accomplished players, but Mashaba was bold in picking many new caps.
Kapeluschnik said although national team call-ups were not the only determining factor in a player’s market value, Bafana selection did bolster their profiles.
Agent Glyn Binkin said when a client was an international player, they earned the interest of big clubs and it gave them more options.
“I think for the younger players it would also give them some sort of leverage to get the best deal possible. What it does is also increase interest from other teams,” Binkin said.
Talented Bafana defender Coetzee was a case in point where a youngster went from being relatively unknown to being highly sought after.
“Being a national team player means a player is one of the best in the entire country,” Binkin said.
“It would definitely help with the player having international experience. An agent would then be able to negotiate a contract that caters to the calibre of player.”