Fernandez still hopeful of a return

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This, while frustratingly having to watch out of the corner of his eye as Moeneeb Josephs and Itumeleng Khune are put through a rigorous training schedule between the posts by goalkeeper-coach Hans Vonk.

Josephs is the man who will take the gloves for South Africa in their crucial Africa Nations Cup opener against Angola tomorrow.

And Fernandez knows that if the BidVest Wits goalkeeper has a starring game, then it will be very difficult for coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to drop Josephs for Bafana's second game against Tunisia on Sunday.

_quote “I'm disappointed to be missing the first match but hopefully I'll be back by the second one. I’ve been training hard and [fitness trainer] Francesco [Gonzalez] has been keeping the fitness levels up,” Fernandez tells KickOff.com.

“But it’s very important game on Wednesday and hopefully everyone is looking at that - the hand is the least of the team’s worries right now.”

The Arminia Bielefeld 'keeper says is aware that Josephs might sneak the Bafana ‘keeping position with a good performance against the Palancas Negras.

“That's the nature of the job. I hope the team has a good game, and Moeneeb too. If he plays very well then that means I would have had my turn again. The joys of being a soccer player, I guess.”

Fernandez revealed that his left hand became injured in the warm-up session for the friendly game against Botswana in Durban last week.

“I got a ball on the finger, dislocated the knuckle and fractured it in three places. But it is only minimal fractures so it's not too bad.”

The match will be an eye-opening experience for Khune, Kaizer Chiefs’ hero of this season’s Telkom Knockout final against Mamelodi Sundowns, as the 20-year-old goalkeeper watches from the bench having snuck into the squad as a prospect for the future ahead of Calvin Marlin.

“I'm ready. Even if I am surprised by having to play in a game, I will go for it,” Khune says.

Bafana’s game tomorrow at 21h30 SA time follows the first Group D tie between Senegal and Tunisia at the impressive new Tamale Stadium.

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