South Africa
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Sundowns’ Coetzee not thinking about Bafana return

'All I can control is my performances and to repay the faith the technical team has shown in me,' said the Sundowns defender.

Rejuvenated Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Rivaldo Coetzee says he’s grateful for the the club’s support during his time on the sidelines.

The versatile midfielder only managed five appearances last season due to a hernia injury.

He has bounced to play an instrumental role in Sundowns’ impressive start to the season after missing nine months of football last year.

The 26-year-old joined the Brazilians from Ajax Cape Town in 2017 after his dream move to Scottish giants Celtic collapsed.

“I will always be grateful to this club because they bought me when I was injured,” Coetzee said.

“They knew that I would not play for the first year and last year I was injured again for a full year and the club has been good to me.

“Now it’s about repaying the faith that they’ve shown in me because like you said, many teams can terminate a contract but there was never any discussion of terminating or letting me go as they always believed in me.

“There was never any doubt, I knew that I would come back, it’s just about being mentally strong.”

Future Bafana captain

Coetzee who was touted as a future Bafana Bafana captain after making his national team debut as a 17-year-old is not thinking about a return to the national team yet.

“My focus is on the team and to play as many games as I can,” he said.

“What happens at Bafana is up to the coach. I can’t really think about that, all I can control is my performances and to repay the faith the technical team has shown in me.

“I feel appreciated here at the club. Look it has been a while since I’ve been in the Bafana set-up but as I’ve said my main aim is to be fit and play as many games as I can. I’ve been out for about a year which is too long, now I have to be fit.”