Chiefs star Kearyn Baccus close to getting Bafana call-up, says coach

07 October 2019 - 16:10
By Sihle Ndebele
Kearyn Baccus could soon be given the opportunity to play for Bafana Bafana.
Image: Gerahrd Duraan/BackpagePix Kearyn Baccus could soon be given the opportunity to play for Bafana Bafana.

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is one step closer to giving in-form Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Kearyn Baccus an opportunity to represent SA.

Baccus‚ who was born in Durban but grew up in Australia after his parents emigrated‚ indicated recently that even though his heart had been set on playing for the Socceroos‚ he would be interested in representing SA if that opportunity arose.

The 27-year-old midfielder‚ who has been a revelation for Amakhosi since the beginning of the season‚ qualifies to play for SA because he only represented Australia at junior level.

Speaking during Bafana’s visit to the Nelson Mandela Children Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Monday‚ Ntseki said Baccus was close to receiving his maiden Bafana call-up.

"Last week‚ I was also made aware that a Kaizer Chiefs player [Baccus] also qualifies to play for SA, so the monitoring and the profiling has already started, so that when we bring him in‚ we should bring him in with that understanding, to say … what value is he going to add to the team," said Ntseki.

“Everybody who raises up his hand to say, 'I want to play for Bafana‚' we will do the right thing. Profiling‚ assessing and then doing the right observation that we need to do to bring the player over‚’’ he added.

The Bafana coach also has set his sights set on Tom Barkhuizen‚ a right-winger playing in the English Football League (EFL) Championship.

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“We are looking now at a player called Thomas Barkhuizen, who is playing for Preston North End in England. So we need have clips of him‚ we need to go the player and the club and we need to go and visit the parents‚’’ said Ntseki.

Barkhuizen‚ 26‚ was born in Blackpool‚ England, but qualifies to play for Bafana through his grandfather, who was born in SA.

Bafana are currently in camp as they prepare to tackle Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Stadium on Sunday at 3pm.