Grant Kekana experience will also come in handy

Mamelodi Sundowns players have joined the national team in preparation for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

The journey to next year’s tournament in the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations got under way on Wednesday, 1 June. The 23-man Bafana Bafana squad picked by Coach Hugo Broos to face Morocco on Thursday, June 9 consists of Masandawana defenders Lyle Lakay, Grant Kekana and Khuliso Mudau. 

“To represent the country is something that I have always dreamt of. It has always been an aspiration of mine ever since I turned professional and to finally achieve it is a dream come true, it’s an honor and a privilege and I’m looking forward to just doing  my best.” Expressed Kekana who is on the verge of making his Bafana debut. 

“I wouldn’t say that I was expecting this but I was ready for the opportunity and the time came. I think with the way that things have turned out this season with [regards to] the nominations of the defender of the season it also gave me the chance to be amongst those who would be selected and I just had to be ready in case my name was called and fortunately it was called. I’m just very happy to be amongst those representing the country, all I can do is try my best and add to the team’s success.”

Bafana Bafana touched down in Morocco on Sunday to begin their final preparations for a mouthwatering clash against the Atlas Lions at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium. The Brazilians stars will be hopeful to get their national caps with Bafana in match 1 of 6 in the prestigious continental competition, with the next match for Bafana scheduled for September against Liberia.

Kekana is confident that his participation in continental football with Bafana Ba Style will play a role when they lock horns with Morocco away from home.

“The CAF Champions League [experience] will also come in handy, I think we have a taste of what Africa is like. We know [what to expect]  in terms of the hostility and the fans. We know Morocco has players who play and train in Africa and Europe. We will prepare well and just do our best on the day.”

The 29-year-old center half is surrounded by his current and former teammates that have welcomed him with warm hands into the national team.

“Seeing familiar faces has made it easier for me to gel within the group, besides Lyle and Sailor that I play with at Sundowns, there’s Ronwen [Williams] from my previous team and Fagrie Lakay also. It’s been good to reunite with them, we’ve been pushing each other and so far it’s been a good camp.”

Bafana Bafana do battle with Morocco in the AFCON Qualifiers on Thursday at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium. Kick off is at 21H00.

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