Kermit Erasmus is a learner who gets bored easily‚ says Bafana boss Ntseki
Bafana Bafana interim coach Molefi Ntseki has no qualms about handling characters like Kermit Erasmus and that was why he did not hesitate to include the Cape Town City forward in his squad to meet Zambia in a friendly in Lusaka on September 7.
In the past Erasmus has voiced his feelings when previous Bafana coaches failed to call or play him in the national team.
Erasmus’s infamous tweet in June 2015‚ “I’m no backup player #KE95”‚ when he was called by former coach Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba as a replacement for Tokelo Rantie‚ went viral and rubbed the coach the wrong way as he felt insulted by the Port Elizabeth-born player.
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After picking Erasmus alongside Bradley Grobler and Lebo Mothiba as his front man for the 22nd Bafana tie against the Zambians‚ Ntseki explained that he comes a long way back with the diminutive striker – too far to worry about how Erasmus will react to playing or not.
Ntseki (49)‚ who has raised his hand to be appointed permanently to the Bafana job to replace Stuart Baxter‚ who resigned at the beginning of this month‚ said he’s coached Erasmus before in the Safa junior ranks‚ and knows him well.
“I think everybody has got his own personality and his own way of doing things‚” Ntseki said of Erasmus.
“I think Kermit is no exception to that. I’ve known Kermit since he was 16 and I’ve worked with him when he was 19 in the [2009 U-20] World Cup.
“He’s very vocal and he’s very confident of himself. We should have a way of dealing with such players.”
Ntseki‚ a teacher by profession before he took up coaching full-time‚ said his educational background has prepared him well for players like Erasmus‚ who might need more attention than other players.
“In most cases the likes of Kermit‚ for me‚ I always look at them as a learner in my class who’s very intelligent and who gets bored easily‚” he explained.
“He’s the kind of learner who‚ when not given attention will cause trouble in your class.
"So you should have a way of dealing with such players in your team because the personalities are different.
“Also‚ as a coach you need to treat them differently but with the same respect.
"When he was 16‚ I gave him the same respect that I’m giving him today as a father and as a family man.”
Ntseki said he would have no problem explaining to Erasmus how things work at international level.
“I think he needs to understand that when you bring people into the national team you’re bringing the best in the country and everything will depend on the approach of the day in terms of what type of players you want to use for that particular game‚” he said.
“But on Tuesday we had a chat with Erasmus – but I didn’t say anything to him about being in the team.
"I think we’ve got a very good relationship.
“We’ve known each other for some time but in this case I’m the head coach and he’s the player‚ so we need to have that understanding and respect for each other.
“He’s done well at since he joined Cape Town City towards the end of last season.
"He was part of us when we were preparing for Egypt and he couldn’t make the cut.
“We felt we need to bring him in and we need to give him a chance because he’s got qualities that can help taking the team to the next level.”