Bongani Khumalo is determined to hit the ground running next season, as he bids to make his long-awaited Tottenham debut.
The 24-year-old joined Spurs from Pretoria based SuperSport United in January after a successful trial period with the club, but has yet to make his bow for Harry Redknapp's side.
Khumalo, who starred for South Africa during last summer's World Cup, was an unused substitute for the north Londoners on two occasions in February, before being loaned out to Preston to serve his apprenticeship in English football.
His stay at Deepdale, however, was ended by a fractured metatarsal in April - but the centre back found his time in Lancashire a rewarding exercise. “It was a great experience to play my first matches in England,” said Bongani.
“I worked hard at Spurs with all the coaches, got used to the environment, the players and conditions and it was great to get a test of all I’d learned at Preston. I did all I could, but my loan spell was cut short through injury.”
Bongani is already back at Spurs Lodge to continue his rehabilitation in time for the new season, and he remains hopeful he will be fit before the start of the campaign.
“Everything’s on track,” he added. “I’ve been running again and that felt good. I’ve missed that feeling. I’m getting stronger and stronger and building up my fitness again.”