Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has announced his 25-man squad to face Sao Tome e Principe in a two-legged Africa Cup of Nation 2021 qualifier.
Bafana are set to play Sao Tome e Principe in back-to-back fixtures later this month as they look to qualify for the Afcon 2021, which will take place in Cameroon next year.
‘Some of those players are unfortunately injured and could not be with us, while some are still recovering – but then again this also gives a chance to the other players to show what they can do for Bafana Bafana. The beauty about the national team is that there are always players waiting in the wings to step up when a need arises,’ Ntseki told the media.
‘The past few weeks have been spent very wisely. I have visited most of the teams in the PSL, watching games on location and on television, profiling some of the players that you see in the squad today. I can safely say now that there are three to four players in every position for Bafana Bafana, which is a healthy option for any national team coach.
‘So, when I pick a player it’s because I have seen them over a period of time, and on the other hand, when I don’t pick a player it is because I have reason not to. And I must say thank you to all the teams, especially the coaches, as they all made me feel very welcome. They also assisted me by giving me the information that I could not have. These visitations will continue as we look to make a strong and passionate Bafana Bafana that the country can be proud of.
‘These two matches are very crucial for us – we are gunning for six points, nothing less, as this will put us up there within qualifying distance. We have absolutely no choice but to go for a win, and this does not mean we disrespect Sao Tome but we have a job to do and that is to qualify for Afcon 2021,’ he added.
‘What we also need as a country and team is positivity, a lot of faith and a bit of luck – those three ingredients can take us go far. But I am confident with the team we have selected, at the end of this round of matches we will know where we stand in terms of qualifying for Cameroon.’
The South Africans’ home game will be played on 27 or 28 March at the FNB Stadium, with the return leg taking place four days later in Sao Tome.
Bafana Bafana’s 25-man squad
Coach: Molefi Ntseki
Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Brendon Peterson (Bidvest Wits).
Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Bidvest Wits), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Bidvest Wits), S’fiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits), Gladwyn Shitolo (Golden Arrows), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Mosa Lebusa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabo Matlaba (Black Leopards).
Andile Jali (Mamelodi Sundowns), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), George Maluleke (Kaizer Chiefs), Lebogang Manyama (Kaizer Chiefs), Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United), Lebogang Phiri (Guingamp), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Percy Tau (Club Brugge), Thulani Serero (Al Jazira).
Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg), Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United), Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg United).
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