local soccer 7.9.2018 10:36 am

Grobler relishes reunion with Baxter

Bradley Grobler during the South Africa training session at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Bradley Grobler during the South Africa training session at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

The SuperSport United striker is enjoying being back with Stuart Baxter, his old club coach.

If Bradley Grobler can have the same effect on Libya that he has had on Kaizer Chiefs of late, then there is every chance Bafana Bafana will emerge victorious from tomorrow’s Caf 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the North Africans at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Grobler has had a superb start to the season, netting a hat-trick in SuperSport United’s 3-2 aggregate win over Chiefs in the MTN8 semifinals, and his form must give him every chance of starting tomorrow in Durban, as Bafana look to go top of Group E.

“I would love to carry on with that goalscoring form … it is always nice to score goals, and to get your first of the season. I have done that … for a striker it is all about confidence,” said the 30- year-old striker.

READ: Khune and I recommended Lee Baxter – Williams

Grobler also scored for Bafana in a training match against AmaZulu on Wednesday and is enjoying being back with Stuart Baxter, his old club coach. Grobler was a key player as SuperSport won back-to-back Nedbank Cups in 2016 and 2017, scoring in both finals against Orlando Pirates.

“He is a really good coach and easy to work under,” added Grobler.

“He explains what he wants in depth, he drills it into the players and I enjoy the way he plays. He likes to get the ball wide, to get crosses in and to play forward.”

Libya currently top Group E after hammering the Seychelles 5-1 in their opening qualifier, and Grobler warned against underestimating the Mediterranean Knights.

“It is a huge challenge, I don’t think a lot of people understand how difficult games in Africa are to play,” said Grobler.

“People look at Libya and think of the problems in their country and think they are a small team. They train together a lot and don’t have a domestic league. To beat any national team 5-1 is not easy, it means they are a good team and we are expecting a tough game.”

READ: Baxter happy with Bafana preparations

At 30, Grobler can look back at a career that may have been even more prolific if it had not been beset by a series of injuries. The latest, a knee injury, kept him out for over six months before he returned at the start of this season.

“I don’t think it is ever too late,” he said.

“Look at Siphiwe Tshabalala, no one thought at his age he would make it to Europe and he has done it.

“I wish I could go back ten years and start over, but I think I have learned a lot. I have worked with a lot of good coaches and good players,” he added.

“Unfortunately injuries are part of the game, and it has put a dampener on my career, but it is never too late. You just have to look after yourself and give yourself a chance of playing as many games as you can.”

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