Coach Stuart Baxter announces provisional Africa Cup of Nations squad
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter on Tuesday named a provisional 28-man selection squad for a training camp in Johannesburg ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.
Cape Town City striker Kermit Erasmus and Maritzburg United midfielder Fortune Makaringe were mildly surprising call-ups in an otherwise fairly standard combination for the camp from June 2 to July 12.
Two potential naturalised South Africans – Crystal Palace’s 20-year-old centreback Nikola Tavares and FC Zurich right-back Joel Untersee – are two additional members named‚ who would take the squad to 30 in number‚ but will only arrive pending their paperwork being confirmed in time for the camp.
The “senior” Bafana camp in Johannesburg takes place simultaneously as South Africa competing at the Cosafa Cup in Durban in early June with a shadow SA Under-23 combination led by Olympic team coach David Notoane.
Bafana senior player Keagan Dolly was included in the Cosafa squad for the purposes of earning game time after an injury-plagued season at Montpellier in France’s Ligue 1‚ and also in the Johannesburg camp.
Bafana have been drawn in a tough Group D at the Afcon – which runs from June 21 to July 19 – with Ivory Coast‚ Morocco and Namibia.
South Africa play their first match against Cote d’Ivoire on June 24‚ Namibia on June 28 and Morocco on July 1. All Bafana’s matches are at Cairo’s 30‚000-seater Al Salam Stadium‚ also known as the Cairo Military Production Stadium.
The top two teams and four best third-placed finishers reach the last-16 of the new‚ expanded 24-team Nations Cup.
This is Bafana’s second qualification out of the past three Afcon finals tournaments.
They reached Equatorial Guinea 2015‚ going out in the first round under Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba.
Mashaba failed to qualify for Gabon 2017.
Bafana Bafana Afcon selection squad –
Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits)
Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United)
Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)
Daniel Cardoso (Kaizer Chiefs)
Rivaldo Coetzee (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs)
Thulani Hlatshwayo (Bidvest Wits)
Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates)
Sifiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits)
Buhle Mkhwanazi (Bidvest Wits)
Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City)
Bongani Zungu (Amiens SC‚ France)
Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns
Dean Furman (SuperSport United)
Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford‚ England)
Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Thulani Serero (Vitesse‚ Netherlands)
Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates)
Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg United)
Ben Motshwari (Orlando Pirates)
Lebogang Mothiba (RC Strasbourg‚ France)
Percy Tau (Union Saint-Gilloise‚ Belgium)
Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam‚ Netherlands)
Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Sibusiso Vilakazi (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Kermit Erasmus (Cape Town City)
Pending correct paperwork: Nikola Tavares (defender)‚ Joel Untersee (defender)
Source: TMG Digital.