Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s squad for the Cosafa Cup in Polokwane‚ containing some exciting young talent‚ has been released by the South African Football Association (Safa).
The 20-man squad was posted on the official Bafana Bafana Twitter page on Tuesday afternoon.
Among exciting prospects are‚ in defence‚ Kaizer Chiefs’ Siyabonga Ngezana‚ Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United’s Siyanda Xulu.
In midfield‚ Maritzburg’s hugely promising trio of Lebohang Maboe‚ Fortune Makaringe and 21-year-old Siphesihle Ndlovu – named as a nominee for the Premier Soccer League’s 2017-18 Player and Footballer of the Season awards this week – are all present.
Orlando Pirates’ exciting teen striker Lyle Foster‚ Kaizer Chiefs’ prospect Ryan Moon and Luther Singh of Sporting Braga B are among the strikers.
Bafana coaches have in the past been forced by withdrawals from clubs to name squads for the Cosafa Cup that do not contain players who would otherwise come close to a national team jersey‚ making for a completely wasted exercise.
Baxter’s squad contains a number of prospects who could go on to become Bafana senior team players in the near to medium future.
Some‚ too‚ will form part of the SA Under-23 team who will aim to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Safa communications manager Dominic Chimhavi said the delay in the announcement of the squad‚ which was due to be made public on Monday‚ was because the association were making sure that the selected players’ availability for the Cosafa Cup was confirmed by their clubs.
South Africa have won the Cosafa Cup‚ for Southern African nations‚ four times.
Bafana have a bye into the quarterfinals‚ where they meet the winners of Group A on Sunday‚ June 3.
The Cosafa Cup kicks off in Polokwane on Sunday with the Group A matches between Comoros and Seychelles‚ and Madagascar against Mozambique.
Bafana squad for the Cosafa Cup -
Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Riyaad Pieterse (SuperSport United)‚ Walter Kubheka (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Motjeka Madisha (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Siyanda Xulu (Maritzburg United)‚ Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City)‚ Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates)
Midfielders: Wiseman Meyiwa (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Siphesihle Ndlovu (Maritzburg United)‚ Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg United)‚ Lebogang Maboe (Maritzburg United)‚ Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United)‚ Craig Webber (SuperSport United)‚ Abednego Mosiatlhaga (Bidvest Wits)‚ Gift Links (Asyouty Sport‚ Egypt)
Strikers: Gift Motupa (Baroka FC)‚ Lyle Foster (Pirates)‚ Ryan Moon (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Luther Singh (SC Braga‚ Portugal)