D-Day looms for Thulani Serero‚ Lars Veldwijk
Bafana Bafana hopefuls Thulani Serero and Lars Veldwijk will close their seasons in the Netherlands on Tuesday‚ with different ambitions but both in desperate need of a win to achieve their aims.
The pair have been named in Stuart Baxter’s provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations‚ but must still attend to club matters this week before they can think about international football.
Serero’s Vitesse will take on Utrecht for a place in next season’s UEFA Europa League on Tuesday with the teams locked at 1-1 from the first leg.
Vitesse will have home advantage this time round in what is a repeat of last year’s play-off final that was won by Serero’s side.
It has been an excellent campaign for the diminutive midfielder‚ who was named on the bench in the Eredivisie Team of the Season last week and has already made 41 appearances‚ putting to bed his reputation for picking up injuries.
Veldwijk’s Sparta Rotterdam are on the back foot in their promotion play-off as they travel to De Graafschap‚ trailing 2-1 from the first leg.
Veldwijk’s future could be decided over the next 90 minutes as he has previously stated he would not sign a new deal with Sparta unless they are promoted to the Eredivisie.
The striker has had an excellent campaign‚ netting 24 goals‚ and will likely be a target for top-flight teams if his side fail to go up.
A video has gone viral of Veldwijk ripping his Sparta jersey in frustration after missing a chance in the first leg‚ and he will be hoping to score the goals that lifts his side back to the top-flight after their relegation at the end of last season.
Whatever happens‚ both players will be free from club commitments after Tuesday‚ allowing them to link up with Bafana at the weekend.