By Johnny Edward in Uyo: photo by Ganiyu Yusuf:
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter hopes his side will in future get to emulate the Super Eagles, who they face in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on Saturday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
"We are hoping that this team can give a good account of themselves against this Nigerian team on Saturday," Baxter, who is in his second spell as South Africa coach, said during a press conference here in Uyo on Friday.
"The Nigerian team is a good team. Many African countries in Africa have the same ambition.
"We want to get our players out to play in big leagues in Europe to play for the big teams and then come back to embellish the national team team.
"Sometimes that doesn't work because as well as the skill comes back and ego comes back.
"We all have the same problem. This Nigerian is every balanced young team with good quality players playing in good leagues."
South Africa and Nigeria are drawn in Group E along with Libya and Seychelles.
Meanwhile, France-based Bafana striker Kermit Erasmus will undergo a late fitness test on a hamstring problem to see if he can face Nigeria on Saturday.
Erasmus is making a return to the Bafana Bafana after being left out of the team for over two years but he currently battling to be fit.
Baxter however revealed that centre-back Rivaldo Coetzee and striker Tokelo Rantie, who scored twice against Nigeria in a 2-2 draw in Uyo in 2014 are fit again for the clash.
"The staff have managed our injuries very well," Baxter said.
"The only concern we have at this moment is Kermit Erasmus. Kermit had a stomach bug and because of that he's lost a lot of fluids and has been getting cramps‚ and has got a little hamstring feeling. But we will see if he gets to play.
"He will have to go through some routines before I can decide. And we don't know if it's a cramp or a hamstring. It's a slight one‚ but it's a concern. He may not make the full session today.
"That's the only concern we've got. We've managed him and we will see he fares and that may affect my selection and it may not.
"But I think the lads have done very well in difficult circumstances."Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN