Fri Oct 20 23:36:17 CAT 2017
Remembering reggae legend Lucky Dube (Photos)

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Booysen ready to fight

By Sihle Ndebele | 2017-07-14 08:20:49.0

After his loan stint with SuperSport United came to an end last season, Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mario Booysen is prepared to go back to Downs and challenge for a spot in the starting XI.

Last week SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler confirmed that the club will not keep Booysen and Mandla Masango, who were on loan at the Tshwane-based outfit.

Although he admitted that he would have loved to stay with Matsatsantsa, the 28-year-old defender is ready to return to the Brazilians and fight for a place in the starting XI.

"I am still contracted with Sundowns and I have to respect that. I am looking forward to returning and fighting for my place there. As far as I am ready to go back, staying with SuperSport would have been nice too," Booysen told Sowetan this week.

The Cape Town-born centre back will captain Bafana Bafana when they take on Botswana tomorrow in the first leg of an African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier at Francistown Stadium (3.30pm).

"I am fully focused on this Botswana game. It's very important that we win so that we put ourselves in a better position to qualify for Chan. We are mentally strong and we are ready for whatever game they bring," stated the ex-Maritzburg United man.

Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has shown faith in Booysen by naming him captain, and is positive the defender will do well in leading the team.

"He has that soldiering sting in him. He has taken responsibility to his shoulders. He has been talking and helping the boys. I am certain that he will do the job well. He has that sense of 'we', not 'me' and that is vital."