Keet urges Bafana to make a solid start at Afcon opener

Keet urges Bafana to make a solid start at Afcon opener

Darren Keet during the South African national men's soccer team training session at Steyn City School. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana Goalkeeper Darren Keet feels says a solid start is vital for South Africa at the upcoming African Cup of Nations in Egypt later this month.

Bafana Bafana will face strong opposition in Group D and will go up against two-time winners Ivory Coast in their opener on June 24.

They then play Namibia on June 28 with their final group game against Morocco on July 1.

“I don’t want to predict how far we can go, I think it all comes down to every match and we have to be prepared. The results will take care of themselves but we need to start with a good foundation.”

Keet was speaking after the team’s training session in scorching Dubai before travelling to Egypt.

The agile goalkeeper was in outstanding form when Bafana Bafana sealed their spot at the tournament in Egypt with countless outstanding saves in the match against Libya in Tunisia and he said given an opportunity he would want to even better that day’s heroics.

“It was a good day and wonderful outcome in Tunisia but currently, I don’t have personal goals – my immediate personal goal is to cement my position as the country’s number one.

“Everyone wants to play and everyone wants to make that position their own and I am no different, I want to get into this squad and hopefully stake a claim for the starting position,” he said.

“We have worked fantastically well in the past few weeks and months as a team and our goal is to do well in what we set out to achieve.

“But we still need to work hard and personally, I want to work harder so that I am in the starting line-up, come June 24.”

Keet said going out and doing well would be wonderful for the country because they wanted to make everyone proud.

“We want to give our best in the tournament. We know what we are capable of and we know what we want to do and we will try to go out and do it.

“We don’t want to put too many expectations on what we can and can’t do but the ultimate goal is achieving something for the country,” he added.

“It is imperative that we do our best by putting all our plans into practice and that we work hard and maintain the form we had in the last few qualifiers,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to put too much pressure on the team on how far it can go.

“If we get it right, we will make the country proud. We have seen it with our clubs in the Caf Champions League competition that we have what it takes to do well as South Africans.

“Our national team is no different. We have a very good squad with good spirit and good mentality,” he concluded.

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