The new coach of South Africa’s National team- Bafana Bafana, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, has invited as much as 34 players for the two upcoming 2015 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, qualifying matches against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, and Sudanese national side.
The South African team will travel to Khartoum for a date with Sudan on Friday, September 5. They will host reigning African champions, Nigeria, in Cape Town on Wednesday, September 10, in the first set of qualifying matches for the Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted next year by Morocco.
As predicted, the new coach made sweeping changes for what would be his first assignment since his appointment as head coach of South Africa Senior Men’s National Team last month. Some old legs were replaced with in-form local based youngsters.
Explaining the rationale for going for a seemingly large squad, Coach Mashaba said he just didn’t want to take chances for the crucial double-header.
“I chose a big squad because we are playing two crucial matches in a short space of time and we don’t want to leave anything to chance,” Mashaba was quoted as saying on SAFA’s official website after his list was made public on Friday.
Nigeria on their part had earlier in the week also made public a 23-man list for the double-header against Congo and then South Africa.
Bafana Bafana squad list VS Sudan and Nigeria
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA); Senzo Meyiwa, Orlando Pirates FC (SA); Dumisani Msibi, Supersport United FC (SA)
Defenders: Anele Ngcongca, Racing Genk FC (Belgium), Ayabulela Magqwaka, Ajax Cape Town FC (SA); Sibusiso Khumalo, Supersport United FC (SA); Thulani Hlatshwayo, Bidvest Wits FC (SA); Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi, Bidvest Wits FC (SA); Erick Mathoho, Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA), Thabo Matlaba, Orlando Pirates FC (SA), Rivaldo Coetzee, Ajax Cape Town FC (SA); Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA).
Midfielders: Themba Zwane, Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA), Sibusiso Vilakaz, Bidvest Wits FC (SA); Oupa Manyisa, Orlando Pirates FC (SA), Andile Jali, KV Oostende FC (Belgium), Dean Furman, Doncaster Rovers FC (England); Ayanda Patosi, FC Lokeren (BELGIUM), Mandla Masango, Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA); Keagan Dolly, Ajax Cape Town FC (SA); Kamohelo Mokotjo, FC Twente (Netherlands).
Strikers: Tokelo Rantie, AFC Bournemouth FC (ENG); Bongani Ndulula, Amazulu FC (SA); Bonginkosi Ntuli, Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA); David Zulu, Chippa United FC (SA).
Darren Keet, KV Kortrijk FC (Belgium); Ronwen Williams, Supersport United FC (SA), Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Orlando Pirates FC (SA); Bongani Zungu, Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA); Jabulani Shongwe, Bidvest Wits FC (SA); George Lebese, Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA), Percy Tau, Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA); Nhlakanipho Ntuli, FC Twente (Netherlands), Siyanda
Ngubo, North West Shining Stars FC (SA).