Bafana – Who’s Not There?
With Hugo Broos naming a 34 man provisional Bafana Bafana squad ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia, iDiski Times looks at a few players who aren’t included.
There is no question that Broos is creating a new generation for Bafana, and this means that some names who had become synonymous with the national team are no longer involved.
First of all, for various reasons, seven players who were part of the provisional squad named last month are not there – Austin Dube, Sibusiso Mabiliso, Sipho Mbule, Gift Links, Siyethemba Sithebe, Sphelele Mkhulise and Kobamelo Kodisang.
A few years ago, it would be hard to imagine squads without players like Itumeleng Khune, Dean Furman, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Andile Jali, Thulani Serero, Erick Mathoho, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Lebogang Manyama, Bongani Zungu, Themba Zwane, Kamohelo Mokotjo or Kermit Erasmus, to name a few.
While it is too soon to write off all of those names, especially considering they’re all still active, it looks like their generation may have reached its end.
Many had hoped to see Zwane included, who while at 32 is no longer a spring chicken, but he is still arguably the best player in the DStv Premiership. There are also arguments for players like Vilakazi, Zungu or Erasmus, especially when they are playing more regularly.
Perhaps the biggest question marks have been around the exclusion of the Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Rivaldo Coetzee and Lyle Lakay.
Coetzee at 24 is in great form, winning three Man of the Match awards in his four league games, and his profile suggests he should be part of Broos’s plans. But despite have 24 caps, he has actually only played in one game in the past four years.
Lakay may not have age on his side, but he’s arguably been the most consistent left-back in the league over the past few seasons. Unfortunately this is not the first time he’s been ignored and he has just three caps for his country.
Other notable absentees include Keagan Dolly, Lebo Mothiba, Taariq Fielies, Ayanda Patosi, Thami Mkhize, Abbubaker Mobara, Aubrey Modiba, Daylon Claasen, Gift Motupa, Lebogang Phiri, Brandon Petersen, Ricardo Goss, Lars Veldwijk, Thato Mokeke, Craig Martin, Judas Moseamedi, Reeve Frosler, Lorenzo Gordinho, Fagrie Lakay, Thabo Nodada and Surprise Ralani, who has never been capped.
However many of those players need to be more active, before being considered.
There are also players out with long-term injuries like Lebohang Maboe, Innocent Maela, Darren Keet and Thembinkosi Lorch.
It should also be noted that there have been over 250 currently active players capped in the senior team, an incredibly high number for a national team set-up.
But there are 34 faces in this provisional squad who are ready to represent their country, including 11 players who Broos called up for the first time. This squad will be cut down to 23 players before they head into camp.
There are also a dozen or so players who could still make an impression, young up and coming players like Ashley Du Preez, Lyle Foster, Liam Jordan, Tashreeq Matthews, Luke Le Roux, Ryan Moon, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Thabo Cele and Jamie Webber.
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