Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Bafana Bafana take over Selhurst Park

It's been a momentous couple of days if you're a Crystal Palace fan with a soft-spot for Bafana Bafana.

Hot on the heels of the confirmation that Kagisho Dikgacoi has signed a three-year deal at Selhurst Park on Monday, I heard a rumour that central defender Morgan Gould has been invited for a trial in south London on Tuesday morning.

A call to SuperSport United's Chief Operations Officer Jose Ferreira backed up the rumour and it seems the 28-year-old from Soweto whose father was also a professional player should be at Palace's training ground at Beckenham next week:,19528,11688_7021360,00.html

I had a brief chat with Morgan later that day and he seemed very excited about the prospect of coming to England. He preferred not to go on the record just yet but I'm sure he will be desperate to show what he can do after a brilliant end to his season with club and country.

If all goes to plan, Palace could certainly be on to a winner. At 28, Gould  was a pretty late developer at his first club Jomo Cosmos - much like the Eagles themselves a 'yo-yo' club that is famed for nurturing raw talent (they even wear red and blue for good measure!).

Owned by former playing legend and Bafana coach Jomo Sono, the likes of Benjani, Mark Fish, MacBeth Sibaya and Katlego Mphela are just a few of the names to have gone on to bigger and better things since the larger-than-life Sono bought a club that had played in a 'whites-only' league and re-branded it using his own name back in 1992.

Six years under his watchful eye eventually paid off for Gould when he joined SuperSport United in 2008 and proceeding to play a major role in their march to three successive South African league titles. But a disastrous injury on the day they won the third title back in February 2010 eventually ended his World Cup dream as then club-mate Bongani Khumalo took his place in the squad and eventually the starting line-up.

Despite the obvious heartache of missing a World Cup on home soil, Morgan was always approachable for an interview and was positive about the future rather than dwelling on the past.

Having previously been linked with a move to Spurs himself, Gould saw his good friend and current Bafana central defensive partner Bongani snapped up by Harry Redknapp instead and endured a poor start to the domestic season in South Africa on his return from injury. Slowly his form returned though and his ability finally gave national team boss Pitso Mosimane the opportunity to do something that most South African fans had been waiting for a very long time - drop captain Aaron Mokoena.

A man-of-the-match display against Egypt in March as Bafana defeated the triple African champions 1-0 in a crucial qualifier was followed by another superb display alongside inexperienced partner Siyabonga Sangweni in Cairo on June 6. That should have been enough to alert some interest in Gould but, aside from some links with unnamed Russian clubs, the invitation from Crystal Palace is the only offer that has been made public.

According to Croydon Advertiser's Daniel Jones @advertisersport on Twitter, Palace boss Dougie Freedman confirmed his interest on Wednesday afternoon so time will tell how this story progresses. But with his mate KG already signed up, there could be a sharp rise in vuvuzela sales in south London before the start of the new season..

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