Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has announced a 23-man squad that will do duty against Morocco in an international friendly match to be played on Friday, 11 October 2013 at Agadir New Stadium in Agadir City, Morocco.
The clash is scheduled to kick off at 19h00 local time in Morocco (21h00 in South Africa).
Igesund has picked a balanced squad comprising youth and experience with an everage age of 24 years. Twelve players ply their trade in the PSL and 11 are overseas-based.
Five of the squad members are uncapped – goalkeeper Ronwen Williams (Supersport United), defender Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough FC), midfielders, Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren FC) and Keagan Dolly (Ajax Cape Town FC).
”When Morocco invited us to play at the new stadium, we jumped at the opportunity because of the fact that between now and the 2015 AFCON qualifiers there are only two FIFA calendar dates to prepare for those qualifiers. So this gives me a great opportunity to have a look at some players, and had we not taken this opportunity we would have had to wait for March 2014 to prepare for our first 2015 AFCON qualifier in September. Half of the team I selected will represent us in the CHAN while the other will feature in the qualfiers, so it’s a two-pronged approach,” said Igesund.
”We are playing a very formidable team, and you know North African teams are strong and will give us a stern test. This is a very serious match for both sides and there is some rivalry in that in our last match we drew 2-2 in the AFCON earlier this year – a match that was voted the best of the AFCON tournament.”
Igesund has not picked any of the Orlando Pirates players as they will be playing in the semi-final of the CAF Champions League in Tunisia a few days after Bafana Bafana’s return from Morocco.
”We seriously had to sit down and look at the Pirates’ situation. We need to support them in this campaign hence I decided to leave their players out as we don’t want to jeopadise their preparations in any way,” added the Bafana Bafana mentor.
”Next year it will be Kaizer Chiefs, the following year it could be Ajax Cape Town, or Moroka Swallows or Maritzburg United or any other team and we will do exactly the same thing. We hope Pirates will be successful. Their accomplishment will rub off on the national team as it did in 1995 when they won the continental title and Bafana Bafana lifted the AFCON trophy the following year.”
The South African-based players will assemble for camp in Johannesburg on Sunday, 6 October and depart for Morocco on Monday, 7 October.
The overseas-based players will fly directly to Morocco from their various destinations.
BAFANA BAFANA vs MOROCCO
GOALKEEPERS: Itumeleng Khune (C) (Kaizer Chiefs), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Darren Keet (KV Kortrijk, Belgium)
DEFENDERS: Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk, Belgium), Thabo Nthete (Bloemfontein Celtic), Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster Rovers, England), Tsepo Masilela (Kaizer Chiefs), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Tuks), Siyanda Xulu (FC Rostov, Russia), Kgosi Nthle (Peterborough, England)
MIDFIELDERS: Kamohelo Mokotjo (PEC Zwolle, Holland), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren, Belgium), Daylon Claasen (Lech Poznan, Poland), Keagan Dolly (Ajax Cape Town), Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers, England), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows)
STRIKERS: Tokelo Rantie (Bournemouth, England), Kermit Erasmus (Orlando Pirates), Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs)