Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has named a 34-man preliminary squad for the Cosafa Cup in Polokwane from May 27 to June 9.
As promised‚ Baxter has named youngsters – many of whom were part of the South African Under-20 team that did duty at the Fifa U-20 World Cup in South Korea last year.
That makes Baxter’s squad an effective shadow U-23 side that will try to reach the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The South African Football Association said in a statement: “All 34 have to be registered with COSAFA by Friday‚ May 4‚ 2018. The list will be trimmed down to 20 players who will take part in the tournament.
“The announcement of the final squad will be made on Thursday‚ May 17 – and those players must be registered with COSAFA by Sunday‚ May 20.
“Bafana Bafana assemble for camp on Saturday‚ May 26‚ and the tournament kicks off the next day in Polokwane. It runs until Sunday‚ 9 June.”
Notable inclusions in the squad are the exciting Maritzburg United midfield trio of Fortune Makaringe‚ Lebohang Maboe and Siphesihle Ndlovu‚ and Kaizer Chiefs defender Siyabonga Ngezana and striker Ryan Mooon.
South Africa and Zambia have won the Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) Cup a joint-second four times‚ and Zimbabwe five times.
Bafana preliminary squad —
Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Reyaad Pieterse (Supersport United)‚ Brandon Petersen (Ajax Cape Town)
Defenders: Reeve Frosler (Bidvest Wits)‚ Grant Kekana (Supersport United)‚ Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Motjeka Madisha (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Siyanda Xulu (Maritzburg United)‚ Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City)‚ Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates)‚ Musa Lebusa (Ajax Cape Town)‚ Sibusiso Mabiliso (AmaZulu)‚ Paseka Mako (Chippa United)‚ Mothobi Mvala (Highlands Park)
Midfielders: Wiseman Meyiwa (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Siphesihle Ndlovu (Maritzburg United)‚ Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg United)‚ Teboho Mokoena (Supersport United)‚ Goodman Mosele (Baroka FC)‚ Aubrey Modiba (Supersport United)‚ Jamie Webber (Supersport United)‚ Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates)‚ Lebohang Maboe (Maritzburg United)‚ Grant Margeman (Ajax Cape Town)‚ Siphelele Ntshangase (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Abednego Mosiatlhaga (Bidvest Wits)‚ Gift Links (Alassiouty Sport‚ Egypt)‚ Phakamani Mahlambi (AL Ahly‚ Egypt)‚ Vincent Pule (Bidvest Wits)
Srikers: Gift Motupa (Baroka FC)‚ Lyle Foster (Orlando Pirates)‚ Ryan Moon (Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Luther Singh (SC Braga B‚ Portugal)‚ Lebo Mothiba (Lille‚ France)
Marc Strydom- TimesLIVE