amabinneplaas players upbeat
Players from South African national development soccer side Amabinneplaas are confident that they will retain the Cosafa Senior Challenge.
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday after their morning training session at KaBokweni Stadium, near Nelspruit, most of the players said this was their chance to impress the senior selectors.
Lefa Tsutsulupa said: "The spirit is very high in the camp and everybody is looking forward to the task ahead."
Asked about his rare opportunity to don the national team colours after being overlooked by the senior team selectors, Tsutsulupa said: "First of all, it's an honour for me to represent my country and it doesn't matter if it's an A or B squad. We are wearing the very same badge.
"I won't put myself under any pressure by trying to impress the senior selectors but I will play my normal game."
Winger Mark MacVeigh said: "Most of the selected players are playing in the First Division and we know each other's style as we play against each other week in and out. This will be our advantage in creating good combinations."
Marcellino Fransch said he hoped to transform his goal-scoring form at club level to the national setup.
"This is my first international call-up and I want to make a lasting impression. I hope I will be carrying my scoring boots on Saturday. The support that I have been receiving from our midfielders in the friendly games we have played so far has been great, and if they continue to distribute ball like they have been doing, this cup will stay at home," said Fransch.
Amabinneplaas will face the Group B winners in the first quarterfinal on Saturday at Atlantic Stadium at 3pm.
Angola will take on the Group A winners in the other quarterfinal at 5.30pm at the same venue.
The other quarters take place at Lilian Ngoyi Stadium in Secunda, on Sunday, where Zimbabwe face Zambia (3pm) and Botswana play Mozambique (5.30pm).
Goalkeepers: Jacob Mokhasi (African Warriors), Siya Mngoma (University of Pretoria).
Defenders: Thapelo Tshilo (Jomo Cosmos), Warren Bishop (University of Pretoria), Mzondi Mthombeni (FC AK), Sibusiso Mxoyana (Western Province United), Mashiane Phadu (Winners Park), Rooi Mahamutsa (Orlando Pirates).
Midfielders: Klaas Galane (Dynamos), Bamuza Sono (Jomo Cosmos), Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Lefa Tsutsulupa (Moroka Swallows), Thulani Serero (Ajax Cape Town), Bridget Motha (Durban Stars), Mthokozisi Yende (University of Pretoria), MacVeigh (FC AK).
Strikers: Thulani Ngcepe (Swallows), John Tsotetsi (Free State Stars), Lethola Mofokeng (Jomo Cosmos), Marcellino Fransch (FC Cape Town).