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Broos calls Pirates’ Lorch into preliminary squad for Afcon qualifiers

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. File photo
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. File photo
Image: Gallo Images/Lee Warren

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has included Orlando Pirates forward Thembinkosi Lorch in his preliminary squad for next month’s kickoff of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Morocco and Zimbabwe.

Broos has continued to cast his net wide and seek young talent, pressing ahead with his rebuilding emphasis as he included SuperSport United defender Luke Fleurs, 22, and strikers Ashley du Preez (24, Stellenbosch FC) and Khanyisa Mayo (23, Cape Town City) in his 27-man squad.

Lorch, 28, is included having missed out on a number of previous call-ups during Broos’s tenure due to injuries.

The SA Football Association said Bafana “begin the qualifying programme with matches against Morocco at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium [in Rabat] on June 9 and Zimbabwe at FNB Stadium four days later, on June 13”.

Pirates’ 32-year-old midfielder Thabang Monare retains his place. Broos has controversially made an exception to his youth policy by including Monare, but excluded Mamelodi Sundowns’ in-form Andile Jali and Themba Zwane.

The squad, though, has a youthful, energetic and exciting look to it, and could produce good results against Morocco and Zimbabwe.

Bafana preliminary squad —

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Brandon Petersen (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bandile Shandu (Orlando Pirates), Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thibang Phete (Belenenses, Portugal), Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs), Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City), Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch FC), Thabani Zuke (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Terrence Mashego (Cape Town City), Lyle Lakay (Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Maphosa Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Sphelelo Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Fortune Makaringe (Orlando Pirates), Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs), Jesse Donn (SuperSport United), Mduduzi Mdantsane (Cape Town City), Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers: Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Ashley du Preez (Stellenbosch FC), Keagan Dolly (Kaizer Chiefs), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Lyle Foster (KVC Westerlo, Belgium), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota FC, USA), Percy Tau (Al Ahly SC, Egypt), Mmodi Pule (Lamontville Golden Arrows)