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‘I was shocked to see a player like that’ : Jomo Sono on Bafana star

The legendary Jomo Sono has named a surprise pick for a Bafana Bafana star who has impressed him.

The founder and coach of Jomo Cosmos says he couldn’t believe South Africa had such a player overseas. 

While many would pick the obvious choices like Percy Tau, Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Lyle Foster, ‘Bra J’ has the odd favourite. 

Ahead of the Bafana Bafana clash against Eswatini on Friday night, Sono has picked a player he says would always be his first name on the team sheet. 


“There’s a central midfielder now I saw ku Bafana Bafana,” said Sono. “He plays in the middle. A very good player. 

“If he had stayed in South Africa [and not moved overseas], would he be playing for Bafana? No, he wouldn’t. 

“I was shocked to see a player like that. I didn’t even know this guy, I said, ‘this midfielder is class’. He’s a class midfielder. 

“Maybe you don’t realise him because the problem with us as South Africans is that we want these flashy players. This boy is direct, and he works hard. 

“I would select him for my team; he would be the first player in my team list. I don’t even know him. You can tell that he learnt a lot. He was coached properly where he was developed.”

Sono was referring to Liga Portugal 2 club Tondela anchorman Siphephelo ‘Yaya’ Sithole, who has been overseas for seven years.

Jomo Cosmos says he shocked when he saw Bafana Bafana midfielder Sphephelo Sithole
Bafana Bafana midfielder Sphephelo Sithole


Sono’s comments about ‘Yaya’ are sure to come as a surprise to many South African football fans. Sithole is not a well-known name in local circles, as he never played professional football locally.

The 24-year-old midfielder was developed at the KZN Academy before moving to Portugal at the age of 18.

Nicknamed Yaya due to his passing range, vision and physical ability, which is akin to Ivorian legend Yaya Toure’s style of play, he has been one of the most impressive players at his new club. He has scored two goals and provided two assists in six league games.

Sono believes the Durban-born maestro has the potential to be a star player for Bafana Bafana. He made his debut against Morocco in June last year and has never looked back.

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