CHERRIES star Tokelo Rantie is desperate to emerge victorious should he be pitted into a personal duel with fellow countryman and close friend Bongani Khumalo.
Striker Rantie will be hoping to keep his place when Cherries host Championship rivals Doncaster tomorrow and go toe to toe with Rovers’ South African defender Khumalo.
The pair, together with Rovers midfielder Dean Furman, will fly to Johannesburg following the clash to start preparing for Bafana Bafana’s friendly against Brazil on Wednesday.
Rantie, who has started three of Cherries’ past four games, told the Daily Echo: “I think it is going to be a great occasion for all of us, taking into consideration we represent the same national team.
“It is going to be good to see which team will be victorious. I am looking forward to it and, hopefully, I will cause them problems if I am given the chance to play.
“I know Bongani’s strong points and I know his weaknesses so I will be looking to capitalise on them. I have watched him many times in the national team and when he played for SuperSport in South Africa so I know quite a bit about him.
“I know Dean is a hard worker. He is not as pacey as me and I hope both of them have a hard time. It is a very important game for us. We can’t afford any slip-ups and need to make sure we collect maximum points.”
Rantie, who came off the bench to net Cherries’ winner against Huddersfield last month before also scoring in the 1-1 draw with Burnley, took advice from Furman ahead of moving to England from Malmo in August.
The 23-year-old added: “Dean told me English football and the Championship was physical and about the tempo of the game and I am experiencing both at the moment. It is quite physical and the tempo is at the higher level.
“For someone like me to come here, it was a good thing because I have learned so much from this type of football. I am maturing as a player and I am around people who are willing to help me so these are the most important things.
“It has been quite a good journey so far and I am happy with my progress. I am happy with the way I have been treated and with the opportunities I have been given. It is down to me now to make sure I repay all the faith that has been put in me.”