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Helman Mkhalele names Bafana squad for Cosafa Cup

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Helman Mkhalele names Bafana squad for Cosafa Cup.
Helman Mkhalele names Bafana squad for Cosafa Cup.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Stand-in Bafana Bafana coach Helman Mkhalele has named the 23-man squad for this year’s Cosafa Cup to take place in Durban from July 5 to 17.

Mkhalele said coming up with the final 23 players was not an easy process for him and his technical staff, given the quality they had roped in for their preliminary squad.

The 52-year former Bafana speedy winger added that they were happy with the final 23 players they have selected and are hopeful they will do the job at the tournament.

The Cosafa Cup defending champions are scheduled to travel to Durban on July 10, three days before their opening quarterfinal tie against Mozambique.

“This was not an easy process to go through given the fact that everybody in the team showed the hunger and desire to be in the final squad,” Mkhalele said.

“That’s what made it difficult but we are happy with the final 23 we have chosen. We have also made them aware of the expectations set to them going into this tournament and our first game against Mozambique.”

This will be the second time in a row SA will be facing their neighbours in the Cosafa Cup quarterfinals, having sauntered past them with a 3-0 scoreline last year, en route to beating Senegal on penalties in the final.

Mkhalele is aware that Mozambique will come motivated to try to avenge last year’s defeat but is preparing his players for such eventuality.

“When you go to any tournament as a coach, you need to make sure that you have selected players who have the right mindset, attitude and the willingness to win,” Mkhalele said.

“The first game against Mozambique is going to be crucial because this is a side we beat in last year’s edition en route to the final. They will go into this tie with the intentions of avenging that defeat and we cannot let them.

“We are the defending champions and our intention is to go all the way in fighting to defend our title.”

Bafana Cosafa Squad: Mcaba Athenkosi (Stellenbosch), Adams Jayden (Stellenbosch), Antonio van Wyk (Stellenbosch), Lebohang Nthene (Stellenbosch), Lincoln Vyver      (Cape Town Spurs), Chumani Butsaka (Cape Town Spurs), Azola Matrose (Chippa United), Zuko Mdunyelwa (Chippa United), Thapelo Maseko (SuperSport United), Kegan Johannes (SuperSport United), Selaelo Rasebotja (SuperSport United), Ethan Brooks (AmaZulu), Olwethu Mzimela (AmaZulu) Khulekani Shezi (Royal Am), Keletso Sifama (Kaizer Chiefs), Rowan Human (Maritzburg United), Siyanda Msani (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sydney Malivha (Baroka), Dan Ndhlovu (Baroka), Macbeth Mahlangu (TS Galaxy), Sbonelo Cele (Golden Arrows), Boitumelo Radiopane (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mashigo (Portadown, Ireland).

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