CAPE TOWN – South African striker Kermit Erasmus has told EWN Sport that once Shakes Mashaba leaves his post he would love to play for Bafana Bafana.
Erasmus, formerly of Orlando Pirates, is now playing in the French Ligue 1 with Stade Rennes, he has been particularly vocal in the past about being overlooked by Mashaba even though the 26-year-old went through a rich vein of form with Pirates.
Erasmus joins fellow South African Kamohelo Mokotjo, who also plays regularly in the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Twente in openly sharing their dissatisfaction with the current national coach.
The pair have regularly been overlooked for the national side, which has undoubtedly been a source of frustration for the duo that represented South Africa at the U-20 World Cup in 2009. They have seen handful of players from that squad graduate into the senior side. However, Erasmus says the national side is not top of mind for him at the moment.
“I’ve got nothing to say about the national team, my focus is not there. I have got no comment and I stand by what I have said (in the past). Like I said, when there is change I am ready to join the national team.”
Erasmus, who has already made five appearances in Ligue 1 this season, says he still has desire to play for the national team but not with a toxic sentiment.
“I’ve always wanted to play for my country, everybody knows that but I do not want to [play] with negative vibes around and trying to prove people right or wrong about this that or the other (sic).”
The 26-year-old has played for the national team at youth level, having been part of a talented group that went to the World Cup in 2009. He says the South African footballing pipeline needs to change, and adds younger players must be taken care of and groomed for the future.
“If a player represents the national team from youth level, he’s got to go all the way up until the senior national team, which has not been the case ever in the history of South African football. So I can say my bit, everybody can say their bit but if there is nothing being done about it there is no point (sic).”
The striker, who has also spent time in Holland with Feyenoord early in his career, reiterated his desire to play for the national team.
“Every footballer wants to represent their country at any level, whether it is World Cup, African Cup of Nations even just a friendly. For me it is always an honour to represent my country.”
He went on to say that the South African public must let their voices be heard if they have concerns regarding Bafana Bafana.
“The national team belongs to the people of South Africa. If the people of South Africa speak up and says this needs to change then they need to be heard, they need to be given what they want.”
Erasmus moved from Pirates at the beginning of the year and says he is very happy with life in France and has settled in well in to a new culture.
“I am happy where I am. I came to Europe without the national team, just by playing for my club. That says a lot about my character as a player. So for me, I am content where I am. I am happy and my family is happy and that’s all that matters.”
Erasmus speaks of the physical demands of the league as well as the tactical concentration required. His Rennais team have come up against quality outfits in the form of AS Monaco and Marseille this season.
He is very clear in his goals and certainly has the will to progress even further in his career. He adds people had written him off when he returned to South Africa after his spell in Holland.
His move to the Rennais is evidence of the dedication and belief Erasmus has in himself
Story courtesy : EWN