Former South African national team coach Clive Barker has very high praise for Ajax Cape Town youngster Rivaldo Coetzee, stating that the talented defender should be a base around which Bafana Bafana can be built.
Speaking about the 18-year-old breakout star, former Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winning coach Barker revealed his admiration for Coetzee on the Ajax official website.
“I think he’ll be more dominant with time. Obviously he’s got nice touches, he’s a great passer of the ball and he’s a nice player all round. But, he’s a player for the future of course,” said the experienced tactician.
“I think we should build a part of the national team around about him because you can’t play him in every position. But having had a closer look at him recently, I think he is a quality player and one for the future,” added Barker.
Coetzee was called up and participated in this year’s Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea, and although he came off early in the first match against Algeria with an injury, he returned to the side for their third AFCON encounter against the Black Stars of Ghana.
Bafana failed to progress from the group stages, but matches against Africa’s top ranked side Algeria, West African powerhouse Senegal and eventual runners up Ghana provided South Africa’s young squad with a wealth of experience to take forward into future competitions and qualifying campaigns.
This experience gained before he turns 20 in a couple of years puts him in a strong position to become a national team stalwart and potentially captain Bafana one day.
Coetzee has been selected in the current Bafana squad which will take on Swaziland and Nigeria in friendly matches at the end of the month.