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Henyekane R aring to go

By Mcelwa Nchabeleng | Aug 07, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

RICHARD "Kimberley Express" Henyekane sees his first call-up for Bafana Bafana as a quantum leap in his goal to play in the Fifa 2010 World Cup.

RICHARD "Kimberley Express" Henyekane sees his first call-up for Bafana Bafana as a quantum leap in his goal to play in the Fifa 2010 World Cup.

"I'm excited but not surprised by the call-up because I always knew that I deserve to be in the Bafana Bafana squad," Henyekane told Sowetan yesterday.

The Lamontville Golden Arrows hitman has been drafted into the 23-member squad to play Serbia in an international friendly at Super Stadium on Wednesday night.

Henyekane's call-up has not surprised the Kimberley-born forward nor is it likely to surprise the many people who have been calling for his inclusion in the squad after his blistering form last season. He rattled the net 19 times, a feat that won him the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot award.

The forward handled his omission from the squad for the June Fifa Confederations Cup like a true professional. He did not go around moaning but promised to remain focused and improve the level of his game.

"There was no reason for me to complain because the coach knows what he is doing. We have equally capable strikers in this country who can score goals in my absence," Henyekane said.

"I'm convinced that I am ready to play my first match for my country at the senior level. I will play my normal game if I'm selected on Wednesday. I'm not nervous but excited and inspired.

"It will be important for us to beat Serbia and also do well in a series of friendly matches that we will play thereafter to be ready for the World Cup in June."

Henyekane also thanked his coach at Arrows, Manqoba Mngqithi, and his teammates for encouraging him.

He is now settled at Arrows after he was given an improved offer after he threatened to quit Abafana Bes'thende recently.

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Abia Nale has also been called up for the match, along with Orlando Pirates' penalty specialist Lucas Thwala, who pulled out of the Confederations Cup due to an injury shortly before Joel Santana was to trim his provisional squad.

Bafana manager Sipho Nkumane said injuries prevented Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala from being called up for the match.

Thembinkosi "Terror" Fanteni, who joined Pirates this week, has also been omitted from the squad.

The announcement was made in Johannesburg yesterday in the absence of Santana, who was said to be ill at home in Brazil.

Nkumane, who urged the people of Tshwane and other areas to come in large numbers to rally behind Bafana, could not confirm when Santana would return to the country.


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