The absence of Portia Modise to steer Banyana Banyana through the African Women's Championships tournament is not necessarily a train smash, says Augustine Makalakalane.
Banyana take part in the biennial competition in Equatorial Guinea next month. In its 10-year history, this tournament has never been won by any other country but Nigeria.
Coach Makalakalane says he left the striker out to give her a chance to concentrate on her career at Fortuna Hjorring, where she has not been playing regularly.
"She has been sitting on the bench at the club and was hopelessly unfit for our friendly against The Netherlands last month that we had to substitute her," said Makalakalane.
While the decision appears to be in Modise's best interest, it has to be taken into consideration that local players in the national team also last saw action in April.
The league only resumed on Saturday, November 1.
South Africa might also have started to look beyond Modise, as they groom other players to take over from her and Veronica Phewa.
Banyana management has spoken glowingly of their latest stars - 17-year-old Busisiwe Ndimeni, Emily Magotlhe and Amanda Dlamini who have been doing well since their selection to the team.
Banyana play a number of friendlies - including against Tukkies' Under-16 boys and the School of Excellence youngsters.
"We go into camp on Monday (today), where we will take the team through some intense training. We need to concentrate on speed, strength and shooting practices.
"I am attending a Fifa Under-17 tournament in New Zealand, and I hope to come back with information that will help us with our preparations," said team manager Fran Hilton-Smith.
Banyana hope to go one better than the class of 2000 who lost 2-0 to the Super Falcons at Vosloorus Stadium.