Claasen fit to help Bafana

20 March 2013 - 09:30
By Nick Said

BAFANA Bafana midfielder Daylon Claasen has declared himself fully fit and willing to play anywhere for the national side in their 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Central African Republic in Cape Town on Saturday.

Claasen has been recalled to the squad after spending six months out with a knee injury, meaning he missed the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

He has also been battling with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, but says he is ready to play against CAR.

"The hamstring is all good, I played in a match (for Belgian side Lierse) at the weekend and I felt fine. The knee is good, too, it hasn't been giving me any problems since I returned in January," Claasen says.

The 23-year-old admits it has taken him a while to rediscover his form of last year, when he was rated among the top midfielders in Belgium. "It has been difficult to get back to my past form, but it is getting there. I have been feeling a bit of improvement."

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund is known to be a big fan of the player, but Claasen admits it was a surprise when he got the call for this game. "I am always surprised for a call-up. There are a lot of quality players that could represent the country."

He says he has been used right across the midfield by Lierse in the last few months, and prefers playing in a wide position.

"They have been playing me everywhere. Depending on the match and the coach's plans for the opponents. I like to play on the wings though."

Claasen currently has seven caps to his name, playing his first match against the USA in late 2010. His last came against Equatorial Guinea inJanuary 2012.