Thu Aug 28 15:04:47 SAST 2014

It'll be a white xmas

Dec 16, 2012 | KGOMOTSO SETHUSHA |

THEY may be far from family and friends during this festive season but Bafana Bafana overseas-based players will be having themselves a merry little Christmas.

COOKING: Kagisho Dikgacoi.

With the winter season in full swing in Europe, where many local players are based, it will be as merry as the traditional "braai and roasted meat" under sunny South African skies.

Kagisho Dikgacoi of English Championship side Crystal Palace will be spending the festive in the UK since the football season is in full swing.

"If I were home I'd spend it the traditional way - big family gathering, song, dance and all," says Dikgacoi.

"But you'll probably be shocked to learn that I'll be training early on Christmas day preparing for a game the next day, on Boxing Day.

"I'm looking to inviting my friends over later in the afternoon, cooking some food and making it a bit more special.

"People normally have turkey on Christmas, but I prefer boerewors, pap and chakalaka.

"There are shops selling local products around here, so we'll have it the SA way.

"I might not be with family around here but I'm not all alone.

"My friends aren't really footballers but we get along very well since we share a similar SA culture.

"Comedian Trevor Noah is also here. I'm hoping to get a chance to attend one of his shows."

Daylon Classen is based in Belgium, where he plays for Pro League side Lierse.

The 22 year old went abroad at the tender age of 19. Little wonder he's often travelled home for the festive season.

"Normally I travel home for Christmas, but this year I'll be staying in Europe," says Classen.

"My brother and my cousin will be coming to visit me and we've planned a lekker Christmas celebration.

"I stay alone, so I do the cooking myself. So I'll be tying on my apron and cooking some rice, pasta, potato, salads and beef.

"Yes, there's no place like home and I'd prefer to spend the day with family. But these are the kind of sacrifices one has to make as a footballer.

"I only hope I'll enjoy my first ever Christmas and New Year celebrations in Belgium."

With some of the overseas leagues in recess, players such as Russia-based Siyanda Xulu, May Mahlangu and Tokelo Rantie, who are both based in Sweden, have both arrived home for Christmas.

Holland-based Thulani Serero, who has been struggling with injuries this season, is coming home to spend Christmas with his family.

"I'll be home to enjoy the day and the festive season with my family and friends. I can't wait to be home."

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