Birds marksman determined to make the most of it

Bafana call-up leaves Gamildien shocked

Neville Khoza Journalist
Ruzaigh Gamildien was on target again for Swallows FC but the DStv Premiership newcomers could not capitalise as they allowed Chippa United back into the match.
Ruzaigh Gamildien was on target again for Swallows FC but the DStv Premiership newcomers could not capitalise as they allowed Chippa United back into the match.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Despite being one of the outstanding players in the DStv Premiership this season, Swallows midfielder Ruzaigh Gamildien says he is shocked with Bafana Bafana's call-up.

Gamildien, who has scored 10 goals for Swallows' impressive run this campaign, was named in the 26-men Bafana squad for this month’s back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan.

Bafana will play Ghana at FNB Stadium on March 25 before going to Omdurman to face Sudan three days later. Though he was shocked with a call-up, the Cape Town-born, who has three caps for the senior national team, is pleased that his hard work is being noticed.

“I’m actually very shocked. I got a call from one of my teammates saying ‘congratulations', and I said ‘what are you talking about?' He then said I got selected for the national team,” Gamildien explained to Sowetan yesterday.

“I’m happy that the hard work is paying off now. I have been called up for the Cosafa team before. Now I need to put in hard work and hopefully try and stay within the team and do my best for the country. It is overwhelming, and it is always what all young footballers dream of – to represent the country one day and rub shoulders with the best.”

The 31-year-old added that the call-up would inspire him to do more and help Swallows to continue with their excellent run. “Because I was doing well at Swallows, I got recognised to get this call-up. I need to continue working hard at my club so I can get more opportunities to represent the country.”

Following Swallows' first defeat in the league to TS Galaxy on Tuesday, Gamildien said they would be looking for redemption when they host Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.

“We put the first loss behind us, and we are trying to redeem ourselves in the upcoming fixture because we need the points,” Gamildien said. “We are not concerned about TTM because we only focus on what we need to do. We are not going to undermine them. We will give them respect."

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