Thabo Senong: Oswin Appollis has always been a brilliant player

Thabo Senong: Oswin Appollis has always been a brilliant player

Former South Africa U-20 national team coach Thabo Senong insists Polokwane City midfielder Oswin Appollis has always been a brilliant player.

Appollis received a lot of praise after playing a key role in Bafana Bafana’s 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Bloemfontein last week. 

Speaking to SABC Sport, Senong, who coached Appollis at Amajita, says the now-defunct Ajax Cape Town contributed massively to the 22-year-old’s growth and career.

"Oswin Appollis is technically gifted, with good physical attributes such as his speed, he's very strong on the ball, and it's thanks to Ajax Cape Town for scouting him very early and giving him a solid football foundation," said Senong.

"Of course, he did miss some football – maybe 18 months or so in 2017/18, but we still took him into our junior national teams to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2019, when he was only 17 years old because we believe he could be an investment for Bafana Bafana.

"I'm glad that he's doing well for Polokwane City, and that he's now also into the Bafana setup at such a young age."

Senong, who won the COSAFA U-20 Cup with Amajita and led them to the 2017 and 2019 U-20 AFCONs, and the 2017 and 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cups, says the results of the focus on development in the country over the last 10 years are now showing in Bafana.

"The past 10 years have been an amazing period for the development of football in South Africa because we've had our junior national teams qualifying for tournaments, such as the AFCONs, World Cups, and Olympic Games," he added.

"Hence now I'm not surprised that a lot of players are getting an opportunity at Bafana because you can move all over the world, all the successful and progressive football nations are doing so because they are investing in their youth development.

"So I'm very satisfied when I see players like Teboho Mokoena, Aubrey Modiba, Thapelo Morena, Oswin Appollis, and Lyle Foster all graduating into the Bafana setup, which clearly shows we invested in a big pool of players to help the national team."

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