Gordon Igesund announces 2013 Africa Cup of Nations squad
Posted: 30 December 2012 Time: 16:02
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund went for experience when announcing his 23-man Africa Cup of Nations 2013 squad today at the Southern Sun Monte Casino Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg.
The tournament runs from January 19 to February 10, 2013. The squad comprises players who have been part of Igesund’s national team set-up in the last six months.
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune retains his place alongside Wayne Sandilands and Senzo Meyiwa, who took the place many expected belonged to Belgium-based Darren Keet.
Igesund has chosen seven defenders: Bongani Khumalo, who will captain the side, Siyabonga Sangweni, Anele Ngcongca, Tsepo Masilela, Siboniso Gaxa, Thabo Nthethe and Thabo Matlaba.
Slovakia-based Ricardo Nunes, who has been a regular feature over the past few matches, Siyanda Xulu and Bevan Fransman missed the cut.
In the highly contested midfield, Igesund went for the experience of Kagisho Dikgacoi, Dean Furman, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Oupa Manyisa, Siphiwe Tshabalala, May Mahlangu, Thulani Serero, Lerato Chabangu and Thuso Phala.
Those left out are Thanduyise Khuboni, Teko Modise, Daine Klate, Sifiso Myeni, Delron Buckley and, in probably the biggest surprise for many fans, Andile Jali.
The firepower upfront will be provided by Bernard Parker, Tokelo Rantie, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Katlego Mphela.
“It’s very unfortunate that I could not have all the players in the squad as CAF rules stipulate that only 23 will be needed for the tournament. No matter how much we try, we can’t please all the people in the selection process but I believe we have chosen the best that will represent this country well in Afcon 2013,” Igesund says.
“We had the best of the best in the camp, with excellent players competing against each other for positions but at the end of the day we had to cut down the squad to that stipulated by the governing body. However, those players who are not in the squad should not despair as they are all on stand-by in case of injuries.”
The coach thanked the South African public for their support of the national team and appealed for more support in the coming days.
“This is not my national team; I am just the driver, so I would like to thank the public, including the media, for their continued support of the squad that has been picked up as they represent all of us.
“We are now embarking on a long and difficult mission and we cannot do it alone, your support will be very crucial to see us through,” Igesund says.
“Now that the final squad has been selected, the focus is on the tournament. Real and hard work begins for all of us. I am now able to instil my philosophy and I am confident by the time the tournament starts, I believe we will be ready and playing as a unit.”
The first assignment in the new year for Bafana Bafana is the international friendly against Norway at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday, January 8.
The squad will gather late on Wednesday, January 2, in Cape Town to prepare for the clash against the Drillos.
In the second and last practice match before the Afcon, Bafana will face Algeria in another friendly at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, January 12.
South Africa begins their Afcon campaign against Cape Verde at Soccer City on Saturday, January 19, before facing Angola and Morocco in the group stages in Durban.
Bafana Bafana Nations Cup squad:
|1.||Itumeleng KHUNE||Kaizer Chiefs|
|2.||Wayne SANDILANDS||Mamelodi Sundowns|
|3.||Senzo MEYIWA||Orlando Pirates|
|4.||Bongani KHUMALO||PAOK (Greece)|
|5.||Siyabonga SANGWENI||Orlando Pirates|
|6.||Thabo NTHETHE||Bloemfontein Celtic|
|7.||Anele NGCONGCA||Racing Genk (Belgium)|
|8.||Siboniso GAXA||Kaizer Chiefs|
|9.||Tshepo MASILELA||Kaizer Chiefs|
|10.||Thabo MATLABA||Orlando Pirates|
|11.||Kagisho DIKGACOI||Crystal Palace FC (England)|
|12.||Dean FURMAN||Oldham Athletic FC (England)|
|13..||Reneilwe LETSHOLONYANE||Kaizer Chiefs|
|14.||Oupa MANYISA||Orlando Pirates|
|15.||May MAHLANGU||Helsingborg IF (Sweden)|
|16.||Thulani SERERO||Ajax Amsterdam (Holland)|
|17.||Lerato CHABANGU||Moroka Swallows|
|18.||Thuso PHALA||Platinum Stars|
|19.||Siphiwe TSHABALALA||Kaizer Chiefs|
|20.||Bernard PARKER||Kaizer Chiefs|
|21.||Katlego MPHELA||Mamelodi Sundowns|
|22.||Tokelo RANTIE||Malmo FF (Sweden)|
|23.||Lehlohonolo MAJORO||Kaizer Chiefs|