Goal Senior Writer Ernest Makhaya speaks with the AmaKhosi and Bafana striker Bernard Parker about the terrible moment he had in Ethiopia and his club objective ahead of the Caf CL
Goal: Bernard, thanks for taking your time to chat to us. Firstly, how did you pick yourself up after that terrible own goal against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa?
Parker: I think I have picked myself up well. My teammates at Bafana spoke to me and motivated me a lot. The coach (Gordon Igesund) also spoke to me after that game (against Ethiopia).
Goal: What did Igesund say exactly?
Parker: He told me that these things happen in football and that people who don’t understand football will crucify me for that own goal. He also reminded that I am a good player, and he told me to focus on the positives.
Goal: How did you feel afterwards? I mean, scoring an own goal must have been the worst moment of your career.
Parker: To be honest with you, I was disappointed after that own goal. I mean, it was my first own goal. I felt down after the match. Even when I got home I was down, but I must admit that Igesund’s words made me feel a lot better and more like a professional.
Goal: Do you somehow feel like you need to make amends by at least scoring in your next Bafana game or maybe the pressure will be too much for you to handle?
Parker: I always want to represent my country regardless of whether it is a friendly game or an official game, and I will continue to do my best whenever the coach picks me to play. The truth is, I have scored more goals than own goals, and I am not going to allow one own goal to destroy that.
Goal: Finally to club football, tell us about the prospect of competing in the Caf Champions League next season.
Parker: I am not sure what the plans are at the moment, but what I know is that the guys were talking about it immediately after we won the league, and they are really looking forward to it and so am I.
Goal: You guys must be excited and motivated by Pirates’ performance.
Parker: Of course, we are motivated by Pirates and we want to do better than them in the Caf Champions League and eventually get that star ourselves.
Goal: Bernard, once again thanks for your time and best of luck for the new season.