Veldwijk's Bafana selection explained

Veldwijk was last called up to the national team when Owen da Gama was interim coach close to two years ago, but has returned to the team in what is arguably Baxter’s most important game since taking charge of the senior national team.

Bafana play Libya in their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Sfax on March 24, needing nothing less than a draw to book themselves a spot in the 24 team competition.

Back in 2017 Baxter said he did not know Veldwijk much and was not sure of his understanding of the African game, saying it was still a bit fresh.

After announcing his squad at SAFA House on Monday, Baxter explained what’s changed regarding Veldwijk, who has scored 17 goals in 29 matches for his Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam.

“What’s changed is that this is a one off game. This is not a building or development [game], this is a one off game. Selecting the squad I’ve left other players out, Dino Ndlovu who I like a lot, Bradley Grobler who I like a lot, because I feel that Lars will have the ability to impact the game from the bench,” Baxter

“I’m not giving you the team now or the team that’s in my mind, but I can see a situation where with 15 minutes to go if we are chasing the game and we bring on Lars with his physical stature, then I think him plus Lebo [Mothiba], plus Percy [Tau] feeding off them and wing backs going really high and whipping balls into their box, I can see that picture being a sort of go-to shape. He needs to work a lot with me to understand that. He will have that in his baggage. I think he is a good addition to the squad in this situation. And also he’s been scoring goals and that’s not something we should underestimate.”

Veldwijk has scored just once in 2019.