CAPE TOWN – Kermit Erasmus has seen and done a lot in his career as a professional footballer, but the best may be yet to come.
Now 29, the Port Elizabeth-born Erasmus left South Africa as a teenager to pursue his dream of playing overseas.
Having come through the SuperSport United academy, Erasmus joined Feyenoord in the Netherlands in 2008 as part of an exchange programme with the Dutch club, and moved on loan to Excelsior in the same country.
He has since played in South Africa, France, Sweden and Portugal, but his latest team, Cape Town City, might just be the club he has been looking for all these years.
Having been called up to the Bafana squad for next month’s friendly against Zambia, things are looking up for Erasmus once again.
He seems to be enjoying life under Benni McCarthy in the Mother City, having joined them in December last year after a difficult few months at Vitoria Setubal in Portugal, where he didn’t get much game time.
Now, ahead of Tuesday night’s Premiership clash against Kaizer Chiefs at Newlands rugby stadium (7.30pm kickoff), Erasmus is keen to repay the faith shown by McCarthy.
“I’m at a place now where I am content with where I am my life and career. Yes, I went through a difficult period in my career where I wasn’t playing regularly. But it moulds you as a human being and strengthens you mentally,” Erasmus said at Newlands on Monday.
“For me, I don’t think there’s much that can break me at this point, mentally, because I’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations in my career, and I have overcome all of that.
“I am still on the field, doing what I love, enjoying my game and entertaining the people who enjoy watching me play.
“Benni is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my career. He understands players, he’s played the game at the highest level.
“And for me, he’s one of the people I look up to, and I love him as a coach and a human being.
𝘔𝘈𝘛𝘊𝘏𝘋𝘈𝘠 👊🤩 We invite you to join us as we take on Kaizer Chiefs tonight 💯
“He is always passionate about wanting us to give our best for the team and for one another, and always having that unity in the team. That’s important for him.
“The belief I have in myself if I’m playing regularly, there is no doubt that I would be in the Bafana set-up.
“I am happy that I have shown that, and it also has to do with the hard work and performances on the field. I’m grateful to the coach for rewarding me for that.”
Erasmus smiles when asked about his one-on-one duel with Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho, who also earned a recall to the Bafana squad announced by interim coach Molefi Ntseki.
But talk is cheap, and the only currency that counts for a striker is a goal.
McCarthy did a number of finishing drills with his players during training at Hartleyvale last Friday, and will be hoping for a positive result against Chiefs after last week’s 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns.
“Finishing is just about concentrating on the training and finishing the action. I think we’ve done that really well this week, so hopefully we can replicate that in the game,” Erasmus said.
“As a striker, you are rated on goals and not on performances. Hopefully I can do that (against Chiefs) and we can be victorious. But for me, it’s most importantly about the three points, regardless of who scores. If I can contribute positively to the team, then I’m happy.
“We couldn’t convert the chances that we created in the games we drew, but that can only improve as a team. It’s a good thing for us that we are creating the chances, so hopefully we can convert them (against Chiefs).”