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Booth to build from the back

2010-05-13 11:46
Johannesburg - Contrary to popular belief, Matthew Booth says Carlos Alberto Parreira's "ball on the ground" philosophy suits him just fine.

The Bafana Bafana coach took the national team to his native Brazil for their first Soccer World Cup training camp, in order to get the 2010 hosts familiarised with the 'samba style' of football.

Booth has been known to hoof the ball forward and play long balls when in possession, which is in complete contrast to the way Brazil strut their stuff.

However, the Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back insists he has been highly motivated to fit in and build Bafana's attack from the back.

"The coach has been encouraging the defenders to build-up the attack from the back and that is one of my strengths," he said.

"I think that is a good strategy because we don't have too many of our players with a height advantage and I think if we keep the ball on the deck we can quickly regroup."

Booth feels he has done well on that front and will continue to work hard at it in the upcoming training sessions.

He also rated his chances of making the final 23-man squad for the World Cup next month.

"People can speculate as much as they want, but my chances are as good as anybody's. What I will do is ignore those speculations and keep working hard and impressing the coach," he said.

"It is not only myself who is in that situation, there are other players who are in the same boat, we just need to keep on going, persevering and working harder at it," added the lanky defender.

Booth is competing with Bongani Khumalo, skipper Aaron Mokoena, Siyabonga Sangweni and Bevan Fransman for a spot amongst the defenders in the final 23-man squad. Fransman was added onto the list on Tuesday night as Bafana's 30th player in the provisional squad.

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