Three uncapped players Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki should consider for his squad
All eyes will be on Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki when he announces the squad to face Ghana and Sudan in two crucial 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Thursday.
While some regular Bafana players are expected to be called‚ there three uncapped players we believe should be considered based on their current form and certain circumstances.
These are the players TimesLIVE picked:
1) Mduduzi Mdantsane (26)‚ an attacking midfielder at Cape Town City
Mdantsane is among a few midfielders who have caught the eye since the start of the 2020-21 season. Among those are Makhehlene Makhaula of AmaZulu FC and Ntsako Makhubela of Lamontville Golden Arrows.
The Cape Town City player though is a ahead of both Makhaula and Makhubela and has managed to score nine league goals for his club in 16 league matches. Mdantsane has improved his value in recent months and assumed the responsibility of taking opportunities‚ and also providing assists to the attackers as well.
Mdantsane’s game has vastly improved at City where they’ve moved him from the defensive duties that his former club Baroka FC imposed on him and placed him where he makes a lot of difference by scoring goals for his team. This is where Ntseki can also benefit because Bafana often lack someone with both an eye for goals and also good in providing others with scoring opportunities. Mdantsane will come with both.
2) Njabulo Ngcobo (26)‚ a central defender at Swallows FC
Ngcobo is one of the reasons why Swallows had not tasted defeat in the 16 DStv Premiership matches before Tuesday since gaining promotion from the GladAfrica Championship‚ where Ngcobo was playing for Uthongathi FC last season.
The steady tall central defender has played 90 minutes in 16 matches‚ with his team scoring 19 and only conceding 10 goals in a defence‚ where Ngcobo mostly plays with Wandisile Letlabika in a central role.
Ngcobo is good at spotting danger and his tackles are often clean because of the way he times them. With Bafana skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo having not had a regular partner since Buhle Mkhwanazi had problems with finding a club after the demise of Bidvest Wits‚ Ngcobo can be groomed to take over that role for many years to come.
3) Gaugelo Chauke (18)‚ a central midfielder at English side Southampton
The 18 year old player is little-known in SA having arrived with his parents in England when he was just a year old. Chauke signed a professional contract with Southampton in January and has been called to the England under-18 camp‚ which suggests that Ntseki must move fast and draft him into the Bafana camp or risk losing him.
Chauke has already played one match for the senior team‚ appearing in the FA Cup when the Saints won 2-0 in the third round against Shrewsbury‚ and was on the bench when they beat Arsenal and Wolves in the same competition in successive rounds.
The trust that Southampton have shown in Chauke suggests that he’s a player SA can’t continue to ignore‚ especially because of the few Bafana players getting game time in the big leagues abroad. As a central midfielder who can also operate out wide‚ Ntseki can surely find a few minutes for Chauke against Ghana‚ even if the plan is to just ensure that he’s secured for the future.