Bafana Bafana

Rantie excited by EPL prospect

2015-04-30 15:16
Tokelo Rantie in action for Bournemouth (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie is in line to make his Premier League debut after his Bournemouth club earned automatic promotion to the top-flight of English football.

Speaking to shortly after Bournemouth's promotion, Rantie described the vibe around the team as "electric" after a string of good results recently.

"This a football club that has been through a lot, almost seven years ago this club was in the last position of league two and 17 points from safety," Rantie told Sport24 in an exclusive interview.

"Today we are making plans to play in the elite league of English football, it's indeed a very proud moment for everyone at the football club."

Rantie is excited at the prospect of playing against some of the world's best teams and has already highlighted which fixture he is looking forward to most.

"Without a shadow of doubt, the two matches against Manchester United," said Rantie before adding, "I grew up as a fan and to have an opportunity to be on the same field as them is a lifelong dream."

It makes sense that Rantie is most looking forward to playing against Manchester United captain and talisman, Wayne Rooney.

Speaking about Rooney, Rantie said: "I am a huge admirer of him and playing against him would be great."

"He is one of the few players I have looked up to and I have learnt a lot watching him from a distance, seeing him on the same pitch would be even better."

The former Orlando Pirates loanee joined Championship side Bournemouth from Swedish side, Malmo, in 2013 for a then club record of £2.5 million.

The South African striker has seen his 2014/15 season hampered firstly, by AFCON 2015 duty with Bafana Bafana, and then a series of niggling injuries, but the player insists that it has not been all doom in gloom on the sidelines at Bournemouth.

"This season has not been great on the pitch but it has taught me a lot off it," added the 24-year-old striker.

"I have learnt and improved a lot as a human being, I have survived winter conditions, I have survived injuries and this has made me a better player.

"Mentally, I have made a huge improvement which will benefit my football in years to come. Though my season was interrupted a lot by many factors, I can still hold my head up high as I have become a better person."

Rantie has scored two goals in 12 league appearances and has two years left on his current deal at the club.

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