Fernandez on the come-back trail
Posted: 15 November 2008 Time: 13:17
Forgotten Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez is itching to make a come-back after a four-month lay-off following a ruptured cruciate ligament he suffered while playing for his German team Arminia Bielefeld in August.
“I am one and half weeks away from full recovery”, Fernandez tells KickOff.com.
“At the moment I am still doing a bit of training and should be back in contention in two or three weeks' time. It is a big test of character when you are out injured, sulking and moaning won’t help you. I have to wake up at eight o’clock in the morning for training at the rehabilitation centre and it’s raining and cold in Germany so you have to force yourself to wake up.
“The training is very intense as I am working hard on strengthening the leg muscle. You have to be fit by the time you rejoin the team and not be left behind. You are talking about a long session of three to four hours for building muscle and also for treatment.”
Not unexpectedly, the 30-year-old former Kaizer Chiefs custodian has been keenly following the fortunes of Bafana Bafana, whose error-prone goalies are a disappointment to many.
“I have seen the squad for the Cameroon game next week, but I haven’t really studied it,” Fernandez says.
“It looks okay and there are some young players who have been given a chance, but I don’t know how long we will still be building.
“I know (Itumeleng) Khune and Brian (Baloyi) are the keepers. Khune took the jersey from me and at the time I felt it was unfair, but now he is making one or two mistakes and they are killing him. Unfortunately, that is what you have to face every week as a goalkeeper.
“I have been working hard in Germany to eliminate mistakes under my goalkeeper trainer Thomas Schlieck and you know they produce good goalkeepers in Germany, just like in Holland. I would like to think I did well before I got injured.
“During my injury Thomas has been calling me updating me on developments.”
Fernandez is anticipating a return to Bafana action - but he is also realistic.
“First of all, I must get back to the bread and butter of club football before Bafana and, hopefully, I will get my jersey back. Of course, I want to play in the Confederations Cup and World Cup. I want to one day captain the national team.”