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Still pushing


Kermit Erasmus is scoring goals, but opponents beware - he's not yet satisfied with his performances

Kermit Erasmus during the South Africa Training last week in Johannesburg. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagepIx

KERMIT Erasmus was blunt in his assessment of his performance at the start of the 2019/20 season which earned him a Bafana Bafana call-up for the friendly that never materialised.

The Cape Town City striker has scored two goals in City’s five matches. It’s a decent return, but Erasmus isn’t overly pleased by it.

“No, not really, I haven’t reached the level I want to be,” Erasmus said. “We have only played a handful of games. I am just trying to build on this start and improve with every game. Even if I reach the level I want to be at, I’ll always be looking to improve to try and do better.

“There are games where we could have done better as a team but it’s part of the game, hopefully, we can push each other at training to do better.”

Erasmus will look to add to his tally against the red-hot SuperSport United on Saturday at Mbombela Stadium. Matsatsantsa and the Citizens have had contrasting starts to the season. SuperSport have started well, reaching the semi-finals of the MTN8 and looking like they can realise their potential of fighting for the Absa Premiership.

Inconsistent start

City for their part have had an inconsistent start, bowing out in the MTN8 they were defending and having registered just one win in the league.

The similarities between the two is their strikers being reborn. Erasmus and the SuperSport pair of Thamsanqa Gabuza and Bradley Grobler have found themselves. Erasmus credits his improvement to working with Bafana’s all-time goal scorer – Benni McCarthy.

“Benni is a huge part of my life now,” Erasmus said. “Him being at Cape Town City is a huge reason why I chose to join the club. He is somebody I idolised as a footballer and as a person.

“He has helped me a lot in this short stint I have had working with him. With my recent form, he has been motivating, encouraging and challenging me.

“I don’t think that there is a player who wouldn’t want to have him as a coach. For me to have him as a coach, and work with him on a daily basis, is something that I cherish. Just being on the field with him, working with him and laughing with him has pushed me to improve and be better.”

Should Erasmus continue with his good run, he will return to the Bafana team that will take on Ghana and Sudan in November in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The 29-year-old will be eager to play a starring role in the qualifiers after missing out on the continental showpiece in Egypt. Even though he was disappointed at missing out, he was proud of the team’s performance in their march to the quarter-finals.

“I have always said it before, the talent that we have in South Africa is amazing,” Erasmus said. “If you look at raw talent, no country can match us. Nurturing that talent, that’s a different story. It’s just the natural ability that we have as players.

“We are up there with the best. We showed that against Egypt, that’s why I spoke about it on social media (that we have talent in abundance in the country). Some people begged to differ, but it was my opinion. Everybody has a right to their opinion. If we nurture the talent properly, we can be a force to be reckoned with.”