Can Bafana produce an overseas XI?
Posted: 21 September 2018 Time: 20:00
With several African giants taking the route of overseas-based stars in their national team, Bafana Bafana has always been dominated by Absa Premiership stars - but how would the senior side look without any players from our shores?
The last Bafana Bafana squad that faced Libya in the 0-0 draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 8 featured just three players abroad out of the 23-man squad, Keagan Dolly, Percy Tau and Kamohelo Mokotjo.
It would be fair to say that Stuart Baxter's entire squad selected was based purely on merit as the players called up were in form and this piece is by no means discrediting the value and influence our local-based players have within the national team.
One needs to look no further than African giants Egypt to understand that a national team squad predominantly based in their homeland can dominate the continent.
However, if the squad were to be composed of just footballers outside of our borders, the below squad displays the talent that may have been overlooked in recent years.
In the goalkeeping department it's fairly thin and for this feature, we delved into the lower leagues of Germany and Portugal respectively, while in defence, it's fairly youthful with the likes of Dean Solomons playing for Jong Ajax in the Netherlands second tier making the cut for the starting XI.
In midfield and up front there's a more natural feel to the squad with several players featuring in recent national team squad in recent national team selections.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Dani Amos (Maccabi Netanya/Isreal), Joshua du Preez (Altona 93/Germany), Cole Colbert (Fazendense/Portugal)
Defenders: Kabelo Seriba (FK Metta/Latvia), Sphephelo Sithole (Vitoria U23/Portugal), Keith Groeneveld (Standard Liege/Belgium), Ricardo Nunes (Pogon Szczecin/Poland), Kgosi Ntlhe (Rochdale/England), Dean Solomons (Jong Ajax/Netherlands), Sergio Marakis (Nacional/Portugal), Joel Untersee (Empoli/Italy)
Midfielders: Bongani Zungu (Amiens/France), Lebogang Phiri (Guingamp/France), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford/England), Thulani Serero (Vitesse/Netherlands), May Mahlangu (Ludogorets/Bulgaria), Thabo Cele (Cova Piedade/Portugal), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier/France)
Forwards: Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg/France), Percy Tau (Union SG/Belgium), Dino Ndlovu (Hangzhou Greentown/China), Kurt Abrahams (Westerlo/Belgium), Kermit Erasmus (Vitoria FC/Portugal), Luther Singh (SC Braga/Portugal)
Starting XI in the current 4-3-3 system:
Amos; Untersee, Solomons, Marakis, Ntlhe, Mokotjo, Zungu, Phiri, Tau, Dolly, Mothiba.
There are several other stars left out of this selection which we have noted below, do you agree with this starting XI?
Notable mentions: Liam Jordan (Koge/Denmark), Tom Barkhuizen (Preston/England), Nikola Tavarez (Crystal Palace U23/England), Leo Thethani (Jong Ajax/Netherlands), Siphesihle Mdlalose (Southampton U23/England), Tyrique Bartlett (Newcastle United U23/England), Thakgalo Leshabela (Leicester City U23/England), Thabang Maponya (Crevillente/Spain), Keanin Ayer (Varbergs BoIS/Sweden), Sameegh Doutie (IFK Värnamo/Sweden), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Erzurumspor/Turkey), Marvin Graf (FC Zurich/Switzerland), Mihlali Mayambela (Farense/Portugal), Bradley Cross (Schalke U19/Germany), Tashreeq Matthews (Borussia Dortmund U19/Germany).