Ex Canary Sandy's pride in his native South Africa
Peter WalshThey might have fallen at the first hurdle in their own World Cup, but South Africa certainly did not disgrace themselves - that is the view of former Canaries' goalkeeping hero Sandy Kennon.Peter Walsh
They might have fallen at the first hurdle in their own World Cup, but South Africa certainly did not disgrace themselves - that is the view of former Canaries' goalkeeping hero Sandy Kennon.
South African-born Kennon, who was part of the legendary 1959 Norwich City team which reached the FA Cup Semi-Final, said he is very proud of the way his native country has played in the tournament - and the way it has handled the World Cup.
Kennon, who now lives in Wroxham, said: 'I think from what I've seen the football team are a credit to South Africa. They've behaved tremendously well. I know they've tried in every game they've played and have played tremendously.'
South Africa opened their campaign, and the tournament, with a 1-1 draw with Mexico but were beaten 3-0 in their next match with Uruguay before beating former World Champions France in their final match.
The hosts finished level on points with second-placed Mexico, who qualified from Group A along with winners Uruguay, but were knocked out on the tournament because of an inferior goal difference.
Kennon, who was part of Norwich's Division Three promotion winning side from 1960 and is a member of the club's Hall of Fame, said it was at the back where South Africa were caught out.
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He said: 'They can all strike the ball and score goals, but they're a little bit na�ve in defending. To be honest most of the African teams have that problem.
'I'm very proud of what South Africa has done in this tournament. It looks to have been run very well and the team was a pleasure to watch.'
Kennon said that football was growing in popularity in South Africa and the World Cup experience would not only encourage more people to take up the sport, but prepare the team for future success on the international stage.
He said: 'I think by the next World Cup we might find the African teams have improved even further and in four years time there could be an African team in the final. They're all coming along well.'
Evening News reporter Peter Walsh is World Cup Walshy in a bid to uncover Norwich-related stories about the feast of football that is the World Cup. If you have pictures from South Africa, or any other World Cup themed events, then get in touch with World Cup Walshy by calling 01603 772436 or emailing email@example.com