Parker sets his sights on Chippa
BERNARD Parker yesterday said his omission from Bafana Bafana in November last year after two years of being a regular in the national team was a wake-up call.
The Kaizer Chiefs striker has scored seven goals in five league games already this season, making him the Absa Premiership's top marksman.
Parker said yesterday that being left out of the national team's friendly international against Ivory Coast in November helped him pursue his hunger for goals.
"I realised I was trying too hard at club level and still not scoring goals," said Parker, who netted only four goals last season.
"I was then dropped from the national team despite playing regularly for my club. My guess is that I was snubbed because I wasn't scoring goals."
Parker said he was aware he would be in danger of being left out of next year's Africa Cup of Nations, which South Africa will host from January 19 to February 10.
The clash against Ivory Coast was not the only Bafana match Parker missed. He was also ignored by then coach Pitso Mosimane for matches against Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea and two 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and Botswana.
The last Bafana match he missed was a friendly against Gabon in June before new coach Gordon Igesund recalled him after he regained his form and found his scoring boots.
The forward was in action for Bafana against Brazil and Mozambique early this month and scored twice against the Mambas in Nelspruit.
And now he hopes to add to his league goals tomorrow night when Chiefs host PSL rookies Chippa United at Soccer City.
Meanwhile Orlando Pirates have staged a mini-revival under new coach Roger de Sa, but the extent of his impact will become evident only after a testing match away to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.
Though De Sa has taken some of the pressure off with two successive wins, the future of colleague Johan Neeskens is in doubt as he faces another crunch game on Sunday when Mamelodi Sundowns travel to Dobsonville to face Moroka Swallows.
Pirates travel to the Free State for their sixth game of the league campaign, two points off the lead.
De Sa has fine-tuned the defence by restricting the forward movement of the fullbacks and asking Andile Jali to sit firmly in front of the back four, making them less vulnerable to the counterattack.