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Baxter: Bruce was in our system

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has given his reasons for picking Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma in his latest squad.

Baxter announced his squad to face Libya in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Sfax, Tunisia on March 24, including Bvuma as a third choice shot-stopper. Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet and SuperSport United’s Ronwen Williams will battle it out for the number one spot.

Bvuma has played just two matches in all competitions for Amakhosi in 2019, doing very well over the weekend in a 1-0 victory over Maritzburg United. The 23-year-old started ahead of Daniel Akpeyi and did enough to keep a clean sheet

Bvuma has previously played for the senior national team during the 2018 COSAFA Cup in Polokwane.

Many felt that AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha deserved a call-up, while Wayne Sandilands has been doing well for Orlando Pirates and could have easily been included too.

“This selection of the camp has probably been the most difficult I’ve ever had and the goalkeepers has been one that we’ve thrown around in every direction. The third goalkeeper in the camp has a specific role and that specific role is to be there and be available and be able to jump in if he’s needed.

“Probably he won’t be competing for one of those starting two places, so this is a third goalkeeper that we don’t want to experiment with, but we want to gain as much as we can, both for the development of the game and the player.

“I’ve considered from every angle. Bruce was in our system, he came with us to COSAFA, was thrown in the deep end against Botswana and did fantastically well. In his club he has also been pushed in, in a situation that has not been easy for him and, again, he looked rock solid. Myself, Molefi [Ntseki] and Alex [Heredia] watched him at the weekend.”

“I’ve considered from every angle. Bruce was in our system, he came with us to COSAFA, was thrown in the deep end against Botswana and did fantastically well. In his club he has also been pushed in, in a situation that has not been easy for him and, again, he looked rock solid. Myself, Molefi [Ntseki] and Alex [Heredia] watched him at the weekend.”

Baxter says it’s not always about bringing in players who are on-form when selecting the national team.

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