SuperSport defender Johannes hopes he has caught the eye of Bafana coach Broos

28 March 2024 - 10:38
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
SuperSport United defender Kegan Johannes is waiting patiently for his Bafana Bafana opportunity.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images SuperSport United defender Kegan Johannes is waiting patiently for his Bafana Bafana opportunity.

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has maintained he will continue to cast his net wide for talent and SuperSport United defender Kegan Johannes is hoping to be the next player through the revolving door for the national team. 

Johannes, 22, has been one of the consistent performers for coach Gavin Hunt at United, featuring in 18 of their 20 DStv Premiership matches in 2023/24. 

At the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and this month's friendly matches against Andorra (1-1) and Algeria (3-3), Bafana coach Broos used central defenders like Grant Kekana, Mothobi Mvala, Siyanda Xulu, Nkosinathi Sibisi and Tapelo Xoki, which means competition for places in the side is fierce. 

“I want to believe everyone is chosen on merit. For me, it is just to keep on working hard,” former South Africa under-23 captain Johannes said.

“I trust in God that my time will come. It is not now, but if I keep working hard and doing the right things my time will eventually come. 

“I keep on supporting the guys who are there. I try to work hard every day because playing for Bafana remains my goal.

“It is always joy and pride to wear the national team jersey and I know that feeling because I have captained the national team at U-23 level. It will be a milestone for me to be in the Bafana squad and I am definitely working hard towards that.” 

Matsatsantsa are in third place in the DStv Premiership among teams chasing runaway leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. In an inconsistent season, Hunt has been juggling young players with some veterans in his squad. 

“For us the plan is to get the highest finish possible. On a personal note, this season has been difficult because I had a few injuries and as a team we also had a lot of injuries,” Johannes said.

“But we had to make do with what we have because we don't have a big squad. It has been challenging for us but we have managed it well.

“If I had to look at where we are, how hard we have worked, and with the last stretch of the campaign, we just need to keep on working harder and hopefully we don't get any more injuries.” 

Though he is only 22, it says something about how youthful SuperSport's squad is that Johannes could be considered among the senior players in terms of experience, given he has already accumulated close to 65 appearances in three seasons in the senior squad. 

“If I am considered a senior player now, that must tell you the players around me are fairly young,” he said. 

“We have to nurture them, teach them certain things because that’s how experience comes. I have to pass down what I was taught when I came through and I have to do that for the next generation.” 

United remain out of action after the Fifa international date until their next league game against Lamontville Golden Arrows at Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammarsdale, outside Durban, on Wednesday.