Pretoria – As University of Pretoria prepare for their student-derby clash against Wits in the Premiership this week, defender Buhle Mkhwanazi received good news from national coach Gordon Igesund on Monday.
Igesund included the young AmaTuks skipper in his squad to take on Swaziland in an international friendly on November 15, giving Mkhwanazi something to celebrate.
“It’s a confidence booster, being in Bafana,” Mkhwanazi said at Tuks' training ground in Pretoria after he heard the news.
“I’m really grateful for my time in the team because I’ve managed to get recognised by the national coach and I’m very happy about what has happened in my career.”
Mkhwanazi made his debut for the national team at this year’s Cosafa Cup in Zambia and had since gone on to make a handful of starts for Bafana.
Mkhwanazi’s solid start to the Premiership season had also seen him take over the captain’s armband. The tenacious centre-back believed being a regular starter for Tuks had helped him in his bid to make the national team.
“I have to play often in order to get into the Bafana team. If you play week in and week out, how can you not make the national team?
“I’m happy that I’m playing every week and that’s why I’m in the national team most of the time.”
Following the friendly against Swaziland in Mbabane, South Africa would take on European and World champions Spain in a friendly in Johannesburg on November 19.
Mkhwanazi could not hide his excitement at the prospect of taking on the 2010 Fifa World Cup winners.
“I’m very happy about what’s happening in South African football.
“These are the kind of games that we need to really develop us young players. It’s an exciting challenge for us.”
Shifting his attention to Wednesday’s game against University rivals Wits, Mkhwanazi said he was looking forward to setting the record straight, after the Johannesburg team claimed a win and a draw during last season’s league campaign.
“They stole three points at home from us and, when we went to them, we drew last season.
“Going there, we have to go out and get three points on the night.” – Sapa