'My mother just cried': Du Preez relishing Bafana opportunity after years of dreaming

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Ashley du Preez (Gallo Images)
Ashley du Preez (Gallo Images)
  • Kaizer Chiefs striker Ashley Du Preez is ready to give his all following his maiden Bafana Bafana call-up.
  • Du Preez says representing South Africa at the highest level has always been a childhood dream of his that has now become a reality.
  • Du Preez will be hoping that he gets a chance in Bafana's matches against Sierra Leone and Botswana.

Kaizer Chiefs striker Ashley Du Preez is ready to give his all to Bafana Bafana after receiving his maiden call-up to the national squad in the week.  

The 25-year-old was given the unexpected phone call after Lyle Foster had to withdraw from the Bafana squad due to injury. 

"It was strange because I was at practice with Chiefs and on my way home I received a call. I don't have words to express the feeling," Du Preez told Bafana's media department.  

"I was overwhelmed. I wanted this opportunity, it's here and I will grab it with both hands and make sure I enjoy every moment.

"I called home and told them that I was called to play for Bafana Bafana and my mother just cried and cried."

After a difficult upbringing, the Bafana call up is a dream come true for Du Preez and for those who cared for him all those years ago. 

"It was rough where I grew up and for me to firstly leave home, sign for Kaizer Chiefs and then get a call up, this is all very surreal," he said.

"I couldn't do anything else but just play this game. I wanted to make my dream a reality by providing for my family and friends who were there for me."  

Du Preez will not be the only new face in the camp and will join Melusi Buthelezi, Mihlali Mayambela, and Luke Le Roux as uncapped players in the squad. 

Having joined Chiefs in the off-season from Stellenbosch, Du Preez has slowly finding the form he produced while at the Cape Winelands outfit.

The switch from Western Cape to Gauteng has taken its toll on the player as he also nursed subtle knock that kept him sidelined for a brief period. 

Du Preez has only recorded one goal and an assist in the league, with his only other goal came in the MTN8 quarter-final against former side Stellies.

Recently, he was the subject of public criticism for some underwhelming performances by his coach Arthur Zwane, even being accused of "just kicking the ball forward". 

However, the forward believes the call to Bafana may just be the perfect chance for him to show everyone exactly what he is capable of and to put his mixed club form behind him. 

He said: "Every player wants to make their mark when they play and show everyone what they're capable of doing, which is exactly what I want to do. I want to express my talent and make a mark by showing the world what Ashley Du Preez is capable of."   

South Africa host Sierra Leone on Saturday, 24 September (15:00) at FNB Stadium and three days later entertain Botswana (18:00) at the same venue.

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