‘We are victims of our own success’ – Bartlett


Shaun Bartlett believes the woes of the current Bafana Bafana team is due to the complacency that crept in once the national team had won its first Africa Cup of Nations in 1996.

Bartlett was speaking to the press at the induction of Bafana Bafana’s 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) winning team into the Sun International Hall of Fame at Sun City.

The former striker of Charlton Athletic and now coach of the University of Pretoria team better known as AmaTuks, said the lack of commitment and the soldier spirit of wanting to die for one’s country was also partly to blame for Bafana’s struggles.

“I want to believe we were victims of our own success,” he said. “After winning the Afcon 96, we never put firm structures in place to ensure continuity. We sort of thought things will just work themselves out and we shall continue to win.

“I think we should have tightened on our development structures and ensured we continued to produce and unearth the talent, so as to sustain the success. What we did was sat back and basked in our glory and not realising we needed to begin the work there and then to sustain that success.”

Bartlett believes that if Bafana continues on the track they are on now, football fans could witness a return of the country to being a top footballing nation on the African continent.

He added that he was delighted that the winning squad was being inducted. “I think this induction alone will serve to spur the current crop of players on and others to come after them.

“The fact that we have been recognised for our achievements should serve as a wakeup call and inspire others to achieve even more than we did. I am sure a lot of players will now be itching to achieve even a bigger feat than ours so as to be inducted as well.”

He paid his respects to the fallen heroes of the Afcon 96 squad and hoped their souls would rest in peace. “This induction is theirs mainly.”

Read: Referee’s report awaited for football fracas

Sipho Siso

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