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Du Preez: Bafana Bafana offer redemption to misfiring Kaizer Chiefs striker

9:39 PM GMT+4 20/09/2022
Ashley Du Preez
Injuries continue to haunt coach Hugo Broos’ squad ahead of the upcoming international friendlies, with attackers the most affected

Kaizer Chiefs striker Ashley du Preez would be keen to put behind his difficult run of form at club level if handed a Bafana Bafana debut against Sierra Leone on Saturday.

Du Preez received a surprise call-up when he was roped in by South Africa coach Hugo Broos to replace injured Lyle Foster on Tuesday.

He could make his maiden Bafana appearance on Saturday, or next Tuesday when they clash with Botswana.

Having performed below expectations at Chiefs, Du Preez would be eager to prove that Broos made the right call on him.

“Warm welcome to Ashley Du Preez as he joins camp, replacing Lyle Foster who has been released due to injury,” an announcement was made on Tuesday.

Belgium-based Foster is now out of the friendlies as other attackers Percy Tau and Bongokuhle Hlongwane missed the latest camp due to injuries.

Now, Du Preez gets a call-up at a time when Bafana coach Broos said he omitted the striker’s Chiefs teammates Keagan Dolly and Yusuf Maart for being out of form.

Maart went on to pick himself up and was one of the standout players when Chiefs beat SuperSport 2-1 last weekend.

In justifying overlooking Dolly and Maart, Broos said the two are victims of Chiefs’ difficult season, something that might also be said about Du Preez.

“I think Yusuf [Maart] is a little bit a victim of the bad start of Chiefs,” said Broos.

“The same with Dolly. Chiefs have not started the season well. And I don’t think when I see Yusuf play it’s not the Yusuf I know from Sekhukhune. I think they’re struggling a little bit also with confidence because the results are not there, the pressure is there.

“For now, okay, let’s wait for the next two friendly games, but he stays on the list for the next games and if Yusuf can again achieve his level from Sekhukhune then there is no problem. But I think now it’s not good for him to take him with the team because the confidence is so big with the results of Chiefs.”

In five Premier Soccer League appearances, Du Preez has managed just a goal and an assist while his other goal has come in the MTN8.

Recently, he was the subject of stinging criticism by his own coach Arthur Zwane for his below-par performances.

He joins Kgaogelo Sekgota as the only other Chiefs player currently with Bafana Bafana.