Buckley into Cup Final

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The 30-year-old, who has not played for the national team since the November 2007 defeat to the United States, has being playing leftback, a move necessitated by a lack of cover in that position at his club.

In fact, the cup semifinal, in which Dortmund beat Bundesliga II side Carl Zeis Jena 3-0, was his first match on the wing in six games. The ‘Black Yellows’ now go on to meet archrivals Bayern Munich in the Final in Berlin on April 19.

_quote“I have been very comfortable at leftback, in fact, I was named Man of the Match four games in a row,” Buckley tells snl24.com/kickoff. “I have really just been helping out because we do not have cover in that position at the club, but I’ve enjoyed it.

“The Cup Final against Munich will be a brilliant occasion. Munich vs Dortmund is like Chiefs vs Pirates in South Africa and I am really looking forward to it.”

But despite these good showings, Buckley has heard nothing from Carlos Alberto Parreira or his technical team about his future with the South African national side.

“I read on the internet that Parreira wants to pick young players, but then I see he picks a lot of the old players as well,” Buckley says. “I have had no contact with him, but I just want to concentrate now on my club career.”

Buckley still has one more season after this one on his contract with Dortmund, and he says he is looking forward to the challenges coming up.

“By reaching the Cup Final we have already qualified for the Uefa Cup, so I am excited to be playing in that competition next season.”

And Buckley follows the progress of his Dortmund and Bafana teammate Steven Pienaar, now on loan at Everton, with interest, not least because he himself almost signed for The Toffees at the start of the 2006/07 season after a two week trial.

“I wanted to sign and Everton wanted me, but they had spent their transfer budget,” he says. “But I speak to Steven every week and he is very comfortable there. I watch his games on Sky TV and can see the excellent progress he has made.

“I am very happy for him and I know there are a number of clubs who want him. He definitely won’t be coming back to Dortmund.”

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