After becoming the latest member of the PSL centenary club, Jackson Mabokgwane has revealed ambitions of forcing his way back into the Bafana Bafana squad.
When Bloemfontein Celtic take on Cape Town City at Dr Molemela Stadium this evening, keeper Mabokgwane will take to the pitch for his match number 101 in the PSL.
The 31-year-old goalminder, who made his PSL debut back in 2007, managed to reach 100 games in Celtic’s last league match after doing duty for a number of clubs – Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars, Mpumalanga Aces, Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates.
“I have played 100 league games and not sure about cup games but today it will be game number 101,” said Mabokgwane, who has played 13 domestic cup games, as well as 4 appearances in the CAF Champions League during his time with Pirates.
“It means a lot to me. I remember as a youngster, I would see some players reaching that milestone and say to myself I really need to work hard and reach the same. I had to focus and work hard. The main thing is that I decided to focus on my game and make sure that I work hard,” Mabokgwane told FARPost.co.za.
“It took a lot of thinking and strategising on my side. There are moments where you need to make big career decisions, where you decide do I continue becoming patient, persevere and wait for my chance or is it the right time to go out there to try get game time and expose your talent. You need to know when to make the right decisions. I am just happy that I have been lucky to make the right decisions every single time up until now.”
Mabokgwane says his decision to leave Pirates for Celtic is part of his strategy to make his way back to Bafana.
“It’s one of my goals to get back into the national team. In short, that’s why I joined Celtic to get game time so that I can be seen again and be selected. The national team, international football is about playing regularly and doing well for your club and I think I am in the right direction,” said Mabokgwane who has 11 Bafana caps and captained the senior national team four years ago.
For Mabokgwane to be in contention for Bafana selection he has to put on solid performances. He will have to be at his best when Celtic welcome City tonight at 7.30.
“It’s going to be a tough game. They have a new coach so there’s a lot of motivation from our opponents. There have been up and downs in terms of results on their side. We expect a tough open game. They play an open game like us. They don’t sit back. They attack. Hopefully it will be a quality game, with lots of goals on the other side,” said the former SA youth international.
By Hosea Ramphekwa