Baxter: Bruce was in our system

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.”

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

“It’s a situation we needed to consider carefuly. There are keepers that are in-form and we all need to understand the difference between being an in-form player and a potential international player, because there are many players that are recommended both by coaches, by media, the people on the street, my wife, my dog. Many of those players are in-form players, but I have to look at it from a bigger perspective and say ‘but is this going to serve the national team both short and long term’.”

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