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Bafana assistant Janevski admits rocky start to new era against Uganda

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Bafana Bafana assistant coach Cedomir Janevski during a training session in Johannesburg on June 8 2021.
Bafana Bafana assistant coach Cedomir Janevski during a training session in Johannesburg on June 8 2021.
Image: Bafana Bafana/Twitter

Cedomir Janevski‚ Bafana Bafana’s new assistant coach to head coach Hugo Broos‚ has admitted that the first camp of the new era is off to something of a rocky start.

As Belgian-Macedonian Janevski and his fellow assistant Helman Mkhalele take charge of the friendly match against Uganda at Orlando Stadium on Thursday night (kickoff 6pm)‚ Broos’s absence due to taking his Covid-19 vaccination has been exacerbated by a string of withdrawals.

Bafana were dealt a huge blow on Monday after the talismanic England-based forward Percy Tau and SuperSport United midfielders Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule were ruled out of the match due to Covid-19.

If that were not enough the Mamelodi Sundowns trio of centreback Mosa Lebusa and utility players Rivaldo Coetzee and Mothobi Mvala were later also withdrawn from the 19-strong squad.

Assistant coaches Janevski and Mkhalele called up four uncapped players – Denwin Farmer (SuperSport)‚ Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC)‚ Njabulo Ngcobo (Swallows FC) and Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy) – as replacements.

Janevski admitted it has not been the easiest start for Bafana’s new technical staff to have to contend with.

“I know now what the team doctor has just said is not a perfect situation to prepare for a game‚” Janevski said after Dr Tshepo Molobi detailed the withdrawals of Tau‚ Mokoena and Mbule on Monday.

“But we are going to try our best in the coming days to prepare the team that can have a good positive result against Uganda.”

Janevski bemoaned the absence of England-based Tau and said he admires the player and has followed the Brighton star from his time in Belgium playing first for Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and later Club Brugge and RSC Anderlecht.

“He [Tau] is an important player for this generation of players and the national team. But we hope that for the next camp he will be okay‚” the ex-Red Star Belgrade‚ Macedonia‚ Ismaily and Olympiakos Nicosia coach said.

Dr Molobi said Tau and SuperSport midfielder Mokoena were in quarantine while the other United star‚ Mbule‚ was in self-isolation.

“Tau and Mokoena tested positive for Covid-19‚ and by association‚ Mbule‚ since he is a close contact of Mokoena will also not be joining us‚” he said.

Broos‚ the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations-winner with Cameroon in 2017‚ was appointed by the South African Football Asssociation on May 5 to replace Molefi Ntseki.

Ntseki was released from his contract on March 31‚ soon after Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.