BUCHANAN REVEALS CELTIC INSIGHTS
19 February 2020
Maritzburg United midfielder Keagan Buchanan is well-placed to provide comment on what the Team of Choice can expect from Saturday’s Nedbank Cup last 16 clash with Bloemfontein Celtic.
The match against Phunya Sele Sele is set for an 8.15pm kick off at the Dr Molemela Stadium.
Celtic are the club which gave the Cape Town-born player the platform to prove himself in the top-flight, and from there his outstanding form earned him a move to Kaizer Chiefs earlier in his career.
The 28-year-old believes there is currently a good energy in the Celtic camp, with the players given the leeway to express themselves.
“It’s a team that is very close to my heart, I was there for four years. One of the most entertaining teams to watch in my opinion,” Buchanan said.
“We know they have a very good side, and coach (Lehlohonolo) Seema lets them play with freedom. That can always be dangerous, they don’t really have pressure and just go out to enjoy themselves.
“We’re looking forward to it, because it should be a nice open game. Because they attack, whether they play home or away, so it’s a game that we’re excited about.
“However we need to be wary of their threats,” he cautioned, “they do have a lot of good individual players. We need to focus on ourselves, but be wary of what they can do.”
While the Team of Choice were boosted by back-to-back league wins last week over Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs, Buchanan says that it’s important to focus on what lies in front and not to rest on past laurels.
“Going away from home and getting six points against the title contenders is a positive for any team.
“We take out the positives but we also have to realise we haven’t arrived yet. Winning those two games will mean nothing if we go and lose the next two or three games.”
Maritzburg meanwhile have their eye on reaching a second cup final this season, having made it all the way to the final of the 2019 Telkom Knockout competition.
“We have the extra motivation because we have made a final. In my opinion we have one of the best cup coaches as well, he knows how to get through to the next round,” Buchanan revealed.
The midfield playmaker has had to overcome some serious injury setbacks in his career, and for the first time in several years has put together a consistent run of game-time.
That remains his primary objective for now – to build on what he’s started at Maritzburg, and to contribute to the team. Despite media talk of a possible Bafana Bafana call-up, Buchanan says that’s nowhere in his thought process.
“I don’t like to talk about my injuries because it may seem like I am pitying myself. But the reality is I feel like I could have been further if I had not been hampered by these knee injuries,” he explained.
“Just to have gone through three surgeries, and obviously coming back like this – in an environment where I am enjoying my football, where the coach is playing to my strengths… the team is good… all-round: the club, the management, the supporters…all the characteristics together.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been on a run like I am now – I think it’s thirteen 90 minutes in a row. So that is for me my own personal achievement - my goal is to play as much as I can.
“I’ve never been this happy, coming to training every day. I need to make sure I’m always one step ahead, always stronger, to make sure I don’t get another injury, especially with my knees.
“It’s not in the back of my mind (a national team call-up). I’m obviously just trying to stay consistent. In football when you are consistent then you get rewarded. But I’m just focussing on the team and helping the team. Anything else that comes is a cherry on the top.”