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Igesund switches focus to CHAN

Written By Themba Khumalo on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 | Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bafana Bafana returned safely from Morocco on Monday morning with coach Gordon Igesund expressing his delight after giving several youngsters a chance to feature on an international stage.

The match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, took place at the Agadir New Stadium in the North African country, which will also host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Igesund took along a few youngsters and gave them a taste of international football. Speaking to the press on arrival, Igesund said he was not disappointed with what he saw.

“I am happy with the exercise we took to go to Morocco and introduce these youngsters against some of the best players in international football. I was able to see how they react in front of a big crowd like the one we had in Agadir. We will be introducing more youngsters in the next few matches because we need a bigger pool of players to get the team ready for the 2015 AFCON qualifiers and tournament as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia,” said Igesund.

The Bafana Bafana mentor said the focus would now be on CHAN tournament taking place in South Africa next year.

“It is important that we start preparing for that event. Everything we do now going forward will solely be for the tournament. We are working on finalizing two matches as a start next month, and we might end up playing four friendly matches before the CHAN. But the first thing I have to do is find out about the availability of players for the tournament. We need to get that sorted soon so that I can start working on selecting the players to feature in the CHAN. Talks are ongoing between the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL). In the next few days we might have an idea of which direction to take,” added Igesund.

“We are in a tough group but the plan is go and win it. We are playing Nigeria, Mozambique and Mali. The only way we can do well is to have the best players available, but it is a bit early to talk about that seeing that the tournament does not fall on a FIFA calendar date.”
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