Ntseki now puts trust in other players after seven withdrawals

Bradley Grobler latest Bafana player to pull out of Afcon qualifier

Neville Khoza Journalist
Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United.
Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Bradley Grobler yesterday became the latest Bafana Bafana player to withdraw from the national team for Friday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome due to an injury he picked at training on Monday.

SA coach Molefi Ntseki has now seen seven players withdraw from the squad ahead of the back-to-back qualifiers against the minnows, with the second leg in Port Elizabeth.

The coach admitted that the withdrawals have affected his preparations.

“It is because of something we can’t control, medical issues and all of that, but I think that has allowed other players to be called up to the team because if something like that does happen, you have to replace such players,” Ntseki told Sowetan yesterday.

“We are giving whoever we’ve called to the team the confidence to come and play for his country.”

Ntseki had already lost Reeve Frosler, Thibang Phete, Thulani Serero, Andile Jali, Abubakar Mobara, Thamsanqa Mkhize and now SuperSport United striker Grobler.

Thabo Nodada, Tshepo Rikhotso, Vincent Pule, Thapelo Morena, Diamond Thopola and Mosa Lebusa have been named as replacements.

“We are all praying and believing that whoever is here in camp will carry us through the two matches,” Ntseki said.

“I can’t tell the name of the player who will replace Grobler now because we still have to wait for Covid-19 test results before the player reports to camp. The health protocol dictates that everybody who is called up must first go through the Covid-19 test, and then if results are negative, that’s when he would be allowed in camp.”

Bongani Zungu and Dean Furman were both expected to arrive last night, while Kamohelo Mokotjo will join the team today.

Bafana, meanwhile, yesterday (TUE) attended the tombstone unveiling of former skipper and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, who was murdered in October 2014.

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