Virgil Vries promises to come back stronger

Former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries was left out of the Namibian Afcon squad.
Former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries was left out of the Namibian Afcon squad.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

"I will come back stronger, those mistakes do not define me.''

These are the words of beleaguered former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries, who was omitted from the Namibian Africa Cup of Nations Cup (Afcon) team, after being in the provisional squad.

While admitting 2019 is a year he would like to forget quickly, Vries, 30, has vowed he will bounce back. The ex-Amakhosi shot-stopper is optimistic he'll be playing in the Absa Premiership in the impending season.

"It's disappointing not to be part of the Afcon squad after playing all the games in the qualifiers. The coach [Ricardo Mannetti] cited game time as the main reason to exclude me. It's a painful thing. I will come back stronger. It was a tough year, a year I must not think about,'' Vries told Sowetan.

"The mistakes I made at Chiefs don't define me. I have a choice, it's either I keep thinking about those mistakes or I pull myself together and move on. I am confident that I will find a team soon, I want to remain in the PSL.''

Vries had a spate of howlers at Chiefs, but the one that gifted Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-1 win in January after the game had deadlocked at 1-1 for a long time, looks the most unforgivable one.

"I think it's those mistakes that cost me my job at Chiefs. But I am still grateful for the opportunity to play for a team of Chiefs' magnitude. I learnt a lot of things,'' noted the keeper, who played eight games and conceded six goals in Chiefs colours.

Vries' Namibia are pitted against Bafana Bafana, Ivory Coast and Morocco at the continental spectacle hosted by Egypt from today until July 19. Vries still backs his country and holds no grudges over his exclusion. "I support the team. I am very patriotic. I see no reason why I must hold grudges against anyone. We have quality players who can do well at Afcon.''

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