Thabo Rakhale deserves a place in Bafana‚ says Chippa coach Clinton Larsen
Chippa United winger Thabo Rakhale deserves a look-in for Bafana Bafana‚ his club coach‚ Clinton Larsen‚ has said.
Rakhale put in a nifty display being a thorn in the flesh of Bidvest Wits in a goal-fest Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday night that ended 3-3 at normal time‚ and 4-4 at extra time‚ before Chippa won 5-3 on penalties.
Former Orlando Pirates forward Rakhale's reputation for inconsistency and not being strong on defensive contribution are probably the factors that have cost him Bafana call-ups in the past.
Larsen‚ though‚ said that since his arrival as coach at Chippa in January he has been impressed with Rakhale's consistent displays‚ and significant improvement defensively.
"Ja‚ but from the moment I joined 'Jomo' Rakhale has been a revelation‚" Larsen said.
"Something he has brought in is to be a little bit more direct. In the past he played a lot sideways and back‚ and he had touches on the ball that weren't eliminating players.
"Now he's eliminating players and causing problems for players. He's more direct. Our break attacks involve him because he's good at running with the ball.
"And he's also improved his game defensively. Rakhale never defended before. Now he's getting back and putting in the shift defensively.
"And‚ I'm going to say this‚ because other coaches punt their players as well‚ that he deserves a look-in at the national team too.
"He's been very consistent for a long time now. And‚ based on what we see other players do‚ I believe he's on par with other players and should also be getting a look-in."
Chippa have now eliminated two heavyweights‚ Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns‚ 2-1 in the last-32‚ from the Nedbank Cup.