Young Southampton midfielder Kgaogelo Chauke has reportedly decided to commit his international football future to England after close to a year of uncertainty.
The South African-born Chauke made his Southampton first-team debut during the recently concluded season, turning out in an FA Cup fixture for the Saints. That was a feat a lot of South Africans were undoubtedly proud of, including the media who had seen of their own take his first steps into professional football on such a big stage.
However, a series of events since then have served as a massive blow to the chances of the South African football fraternity who would’ve undoubtedly hoped to see the talented prospect wearing the colours of South Africa and representing the country through the various age group level all the way to Bafana Bafana. Chauke was first called to last year’s Olympic preliminary squad, but after the postponement of the games, England took their opportunity to pounce on the teenager’s services.
Chauke has since appeared to have made his decision
David Notoane still called him up, regardless of the England Under-18 call-up Chauke received, which again raised the hopes of South African football lovers who had not given up on the possibility of the lanky star committing to his homeland. Just as a number of fans began clinging on to words the Chauke had said earlier in his youth days about representing South Africa, the young man went on to drop a bombshell.
According to iDiskiTimes, Chauke has informed SAFA through his mother to no longer consider him for South African selection as he intended to turn his full focus to succeeding with England going forward.
National Under-23 coach Notoane has now opened up about that situation, admitting his obvious disappointment.
Notoane reacts to snub
“Yeah, look very disappointed. Because a lot of noise has been coming out about us not considering players that are overseas-based and that are of South African heritage. So the situation is what it is, you know, he’s committed his allegiance to England,” Notoane said.
Despite the disappointment, however, Notoane did admit he would have to respect Chauke’s wishes and hope he changes his mind later in his career.
“And yeah, you respect the decision of the player. But at the same time, it’s disappointing. But, you know, we move forward with what we have, we have more than enough talent in abundance in the country.
“However, we still remain hopeful, of course, that because for the country to succeed at the global level, you need the best of the best talents available. So hopefully, going forward, he has a change of heart and remains available for Bafana Bafana. But yeah, it’s what it is,” concluded Chauke.