Q & A with Kermit Erasmus on Bafana return

Safa Media spoke to former Orlando Pirates striker, Erasmus about his return for the national team, as the firing of Shakes Mashaba opened the way

On being ignored by Mashaba and his return

“It’s a great opportunity, I am happy to be back in South Africa, it feels awesome because I haven’t been here in about a year, so I am really happy be to back in the national team setup, and looking forward to the two upcoming matches. Hopefully we can play some good and entertaining football and win those two games,” said Erasmus.

“Everybody knows the reason I was not here before but I don’t want to talk about the past but focused on the games. I have always wanted to represent my country and I am here now to do just that. I want to focus on the present and structure the future to make sure it looks bright. I knew this question would come, but these things happen – it is part of football and we just have to deal with them and move on.”

Erasmus adds that although he is now getting regular game time in France, he is under no pressure to score goals for Bafana Bafana.

"As a footballer there is always pressure to produce what the fans want and what the team needs, so I don’t see it as pressure but a challenge. The good thing is that we have a lot of players that can contribute to scoring goals. Besides me there are other strikers, so we have take it upon ourselves as a collective to do well and hopefully we can produce what is needed, added Erasmus.

He says being called up for friendly matches is not an issue, but playing for your country is key.

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"There is an opportunity in every situation, and it’s what you make of it that matters. I am just trying to make the most of it, to give my best. Afterall, it’s every footballers dream to represent their country at the bigger stage. These two matches are preparations for us, and sort of a trial as individuals to prove to the coach that we are sticking our hands up to represent the country when major tournaments arrive. Everybody has a chance to prove themselves, it is up to all the individuals to grab the chance," said Erasmus.

The former Orlando Pirates and Superport United player moved to France early in 2016 to join Stade Rennes in Ligue 1, but did not enjoy enough game time. He was then loaned to Ligue 1 side Lens where he is now a regular.

“Making a laon move to Lens has helped me a lot because now I am playing a lot, and I have helped the team get to the number one position on the league table. So I am happy, the club is happy with my contribution and my progress, my coach is happy and so is my family – so this is a good period for me, not only about my career but also in my life in general." says the striker.

"I never thought of coming back when I was not playing. My biggest mistakes when I was in Europe for the first time was to come back home – and I am not saying anything bad about the South African league – but I am talking about my career as an individual. I think I was misguided at the time. Being back in Europe this time and not playing was very frustrating but I have my family that supported me and things turned around for the better because I stayed positive, kept on working hard and I knew that my chance would come – whether playing for my team or going on loan. So I am happy that I made the right decision to go on loan. Now I am playing regularly, and I am back in the national team." concluded Erasmus.