JOHANNESBURG – “I am in a good space.” Those were the words of SuperSport United striker Bradley Grobler, who was reflecting on his impressive exploits for his team so far this season.
It’s been a bright start for SuperSport, who sit sixth in the Premiership standings with 11 points, eight adrift of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who’ve played a game extra.
However, their impressive outings have already been capped off by winning the MTN8 trophy after defeating Highlands Park in the final at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.
It took a lone strike from marksman Grobler to ensure that Matsantsantsa a Pitori bagged their second Wafa-Wafa competition trophy in three years.
That all-important strike ensured that the 31-year-old striker took his tally to seven goals in 10 matches this season, having also registered two assists.
The feeling of being back on the field and enjoying his football once again is surreal for Grobler, especially after his long battle with injuries.
“It’s been a good start to the season for me. It’s been a few frustrating few seasons for me, especially having previously fought hard to try to get back into the Bafana Bafana team but then I’d get an injury and had to go for an operation,” he said.
“But at the moment, I feel good. I feel like I am in a good space on the field and there’s nothing bothering me.
“So, I just hope to have a good clean run with no injuries.”
Grobler’s impressive exploits at club level didn’t go unnoticed by Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki, who named him in the squad that will play Mali in the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.
That encounter should give Ntseki, who’ll be taking charge of his first game as Bafana coach after taking over the reins from Stuart Baxter early last month, his first assessment of his players leading to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers next month.
The South Africans will open their qualifying campaign away to Ghana on November 11, while on the 19th they’ll welcome Sudan.
Grobler is banking on doing his best to help the national team return to their best.
“I hope to try and cement my spot in the Bafana team and help them to win games and qualify for major tournaments.
“I feel good at the moment and I am really excited to be part of the new era of Bafana,” he said.
Grobler may have been the guy that notched the goal that ensured SuperSport pocketed a cool cheque of R8-Million and a trophy on Saturday, but a chunk of their overall success in the competition was inspired by Thamsanqa Gabuza.
The bulky striker ended as the tournament’s top goal scorer with three goals and two assists, while his efforts on Saturday were duly rewarded with the Man of the Match accolade.
But on Saturday Gabuza wore his heart on his sleeve for SuperSport: putting in a brave performance despite losing his son on Monday, a pain that he hid from the club as he didn’t want to bring a sombre atmosphere to camp.
“Massive credit to him.
“But overall, I am happy for the performances he’s been having. I think he’s been through a tough time but we’ve welcomed him to the family.
“I think you could see how much he’s enjoying his football once again. He’s a great addition to the team and I enjoy playing with him a lot,” Grobler concluded.