Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba has named a 22-man squad for the COSAFA Cup tournament. The event runs from 17 – 30 May. South Africa will face Botswana in the quarter-final of the competition on Sunday, 24 May at Moruleng Stadium in the North West Province.
Kick-off is at 17h30. Fourteen of the players ply their trade in the Absa Premieship, while the rest are from the National First Division, the ABC Motsepe League and academies. There are no overseas-based players in the squad.
Mashaba says: ‘This was perhaps one of the most difficult squads to announce due to a number of reasons. The end of the domestic league programme always poses a challenge for the national team as it is not easily clear which players will be available. And when you look down the NFD and ABC Motsepe Leagues, you find some of the players you have earmarked for a tournament of this nature are involved in play-offs. We will have three warm-up matches before the start of the tournament as there are many new players in the set-up and that exercise will help a great deal. The good thing about this squad is that we are increasing our base of national team players because the bigger the base, the more the fight for places in the squad, which makes for a strong Bafana Bafana. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the clubs who have released their players for national team duty.’ Bafana Bafana go into camp on Sunday, 10 May in Johannesburg, and will have training sessions on Monday and Tuesday. The next day (Wednesday, 13 May) the teams travels to Lesotho to play two training matches against the host nation on Thursday, 14 May and Saturday, 16 May.
They have also scheduled another training match against neighbours which will be played on Friday, 22 May in Rustenburg at a venue to be confirmed.
Bafana Bafana squad:
1. Jackson Mabokgwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces)
2. Mondli Mpoto (SuperSport United)
3. Ricardo Goss (Golden Arrows)
4. Madisha Modjeka (Mamelodi Tigers)
5. Sibusiso Mxoyana (Vasco Da Gama)
6. Marc Van Heerden (AmaZulu)
7. Siyabonga Nhlapho (Bidvest Wits)
8. Kwanda Mngonyama (Maritzburg United)
9. Clayton Daniels (SuperSport United)
10. Daniel Cardoso (Free State Stars)
11. Sibusiso Blessing Khumalo (Mamelodi Sundowns)
12. Cole Alexander (Polokwane City)
13. Thapelo Morena (Bloemfontein Celtic)
14. Thamsanqa Sangweni (Chippa United)
15. Carl Lark (Santos)
16. Athenkosi Dlala (SuperSport United)
17. Hendrick Ekstein (Kaizer Chiefs)
18. Mzikayise Mashaba (Mamelodi Sundowns)
19. Puleng Tlolane (Polokwane City)
20. Phumelele Bhengu (Thanda Zulu Royals)
21. Gift Matupa (Baroka FC)
22. Moeketsi Sekola (Free State Stars)
Meanwhile Botswana coach Peter Butler has named his squad that will be play in the COSAFA Cup tournament. Some of those included ply their trade in South Africa like Joel Mogorosi and Mogogi Gabonamong (both Bloemfontein Celtic), goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe and playmaker Mogakolodi Ngele (Platinum Stars). Botswana finished third in the tournament in 2006 and 2007.
Photo credit: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix