Grant Kekana admitted he was surprised when he got the nod from Hugo Broos to join up with the Bafana Bafana squad for Thursday’s Group K Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco.
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The 29 year-old had been in fine form for Mamelodi Sundowns this season, playing his part in helping them to a domestic treble, but this was the first time he had been called up to the senior national team.
“It is my first ever call up and it took my by surprise but I was quite happy to be called up,” Kekana told Safa media this week.
“I have always wanted to represent my country, and now I have been afforded the chance, I am looking to give my all and leave everything on the field.”
Broos has had to shake up his defence for the trip to Rabat, with Rushine De Reuck out injured and Siyanda Xulu currently unattached and having not played enough to make him selectable.
This means there is a distinct possibility Kekana could start in the heart of the Bafana defence in Rabat, as Bafana take on the might of the Atlas Lions.
“I want to start, but you have to prove yourself in the training sessions, hopefully I can do that and raise my hand,” added the Sundowns defender.
Kekana appears to have settled well into the camp in Morocco this week, and is sharing a room with his Sundowns teammate Lyle Lakay, his good friend, though they do not appear to share exactly the same taste in music.
“Fortunately for me there are quite a few players here that I have played with … that has made it easier to gel. I am happy to have reunited with players I played with previously, I see the relationship is still there, so I am happy.
“My roomate is Defender of the Season Lyle Lakay. I don’t room with him at Sundowns but I have known Lyle since 2011, when we both got promoted at SuperSport. There has always been a bond with hi, and being his roommate has made it easy for me to get comfortable. His music is a bit off sometimes, but we deal with it!
“He shows his age (Lakay is actually only a few months older than Kekana), he likes Old Skool music, but hip-hop is what we both like.”