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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: Preston North End forward Barkhuizen invited to Bafana Bafana camp

10:21 GMT+3 13/03/2020
Tom Barkhuizen
The forward has been in good form in the Championship this season having scored nine goals and recorded four assists for the Lilywhites

Preston North End attacker Tom Barkhuizen has been invited to the South Africa camp which will take place in Johannesburg.

Bafana Bafana are scheduled to face Sao Tome and Principe in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

Barkhuizen is of South African descent through his grandfather, but he is yet to apply for citizenship and this means the 26-year-old player would only join the camp as a tourist according to Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki.

“Thomas is a good player, we have been following him,” Ntseki told the media.

“We have clips of him playing for his team, I had a chat with Kamohelo Mokotjo after they [Brentford] played Preston, without telling him why. He was very impressed with Thomas and the type of players he is.

“The [team] manager has done very well, we are now communicating with the club and agent and players on a daily basis. The plan was for me to go to England before this camp, but because of Coronavirus, the computers could not get a visa ready for me."

Ntseki explained that the plan is to have Barkhuizen come to South Africa and assess the situation in the national team before he decides to apply for South African citizenship and play for Bafana.

“We sent his agent an email to invite him to be part of this camp, to get a tourist visa so we can work with him at close range … for him to understand South African players and South Africa as a whole, so that when he goes back he can say he is happy and he wants to play in South Africa," Ntseki continued.

“Sometimes you want to bring someone here and get all the documents, but when he comes he decides here is not the place for him, so we decided to bring him to be part of the camp, and have training sessions with us.

"If that happens, when we leave for Sao Tome, then he will go back to his club.”

Bafana are set to host the Falcons and True Parrots Team on March 27 at FNB Stadium and the return leg will be played four days later in Sao Tome and Principe.