'Covid-19 stole my Bafana chance': Wits goalkeeper Brandon Petersen

Brandon Petersen of Bidvest Wits /Dirk Kotze / Gallo Images
Brandon Petersen of Bidvest Wits /Dirk Kotze / Gallo Images

Until CAF postponed all the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Brandon Petersen was one of the surprise inclusions in the Bafana Bafana squad.

Petersen, 25, was among the Bafana troops that were meant to clash Sáo Tomé and Principe in back-to-back 2021 Afcon qualifiers.

For the Wits keeper to be drafted into the squad, Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki had unexpectedly dropped seasoned Darren Keet, who is plying his trade in Belgium with second-tier side OH Leuven.

With the qualifiers now suspended amid the Covid-19 outbreak, Petersen feels it has robbed him of an opportunity to learn from tried and tested Bafana keepers in Kaizer Chiefs' Itumeleng Khune and Ronwen Williams of SuperSport United.

"It's for a good reason that the qualifiers were called-off until further notice, but I was looking forward to gain experience. I feel like this coronavirus has snatched that opportunity away from me," Petersen told Sowetan yesterday.

"Being a young goalkeeper, it's always a learning curve to be in the national team. When you get to mix with experienced keepers like Itu [Khune], Ronwen and even Darren [Keet] you must always make sure you learn something, see where you can grab some tips."

While he vows to work even harder to stay in the Bafana set-up, the Clever Boys shot-stopper is sceptical about the possibilities of Ntseki retaining the same squad when authorities give the qualifiers the green light.

"I don't know if the coach will keep me in the team when the qualifiers continue, but I will work harder than I have been doing to be reconsidered," said Petersen, who's yet to make his Bafana debut, having not featured in his two previous call-ups.

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