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Kermit keen to shine at home

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Erasmus can prove to be Bafana Bafana's most potent weapon.

Kermit Erasmus (centre) with Bafana teammates Keagan Dolly (left) and Dean Furman (right) during a recent training session.

AN invigorated Kermit Erasmus could prove to be Bafana Bafana’s most potent weapon in their Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Mali at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The Cape Town City and Bafana marksman revealed yesterday that playing in front of his family is a major tonic that boosts his performance.

The striker is in red hot form at his club and has netted five times in eight league outings this season and now hopes this rich scoring vein will continue when the national team takes on the West African country at 3pm on Sunday.

Great opportunity

“My parents don’t get to see me playing live. It is a great opportunity for my cousins, friends and aunt to see me in national colours. I’m happy that it is here.

“It is not often where I get to play in my home town. I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday and we will do our best to keep the cup home,” the PE-born Erasmus told journalists at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday.

Erasmus was raised in the Eastern Cape city but has spent more years outside the province because of football commitments.

The 29-year-old burst onto the domestic pro soccer scene in the colours of SuperSport United in 2008. At Matsatsantsa a Pitori he didn’t last long.

The following season, he was transferred to Feyenoord in the Netherlands but returned to South Africa in 2010 for his second spell with the Pretoria outfit.

After three years, he joined Orlando Pirates before returning abroad to play in France in 2016. Erasmus is now based in Cape Town where he plays for Cape Town City.

The stocky striker indicated he is determined to ensure that Bafana stretch their unbeaten run in the Mandela Challenge competition a competition they haven’t lost since 2013.

Bafana drew 1-1 with Chippa United in a warm-up outing yesterday where Erasmus had come on as a second half substitute and made an instant impact.

“The coach wants us to believe in our style and the system of play. That’s what he has been emphasising ever since we’ve gathered. He wants us to create our own identity,” Erasmus said.

His remarks about what Ntseki is expecting from his men were evident in how Bafana approached the game against Chippa, a Premiership side based in PE.

They looked keen on building from the back and keeping possession while using speed on the wings with more emphasis on attacks with full-backs. The other aspect they appeared to be focussing on was to capitalise on set plays.

Ntseki recently took over the reins from Stuart Baxter who resigned after the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

“The game against Mali is a preparation for the Ghana game, said Erasmus. “We know that Mali are a big and physical team just like Ghana. That’s how West African teams are. It is going to be an interesting challenge but we look forward to it. “We are prepared for this game but not only this game but for other matches to come,” he added.