Thabo Senong: Bafana will overcome challenges ahead of CHAN qualifier with Zambia
Posted: 16 August 2017 Time: 09:10
Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thabo Senong is putting on a positive front following the mass player withdrawals ahead of Saturday's CHAN qualifier with Zambia in Ndola.
Following the departure of seven players after the first leg of the third and final round of the qualifiers against Chipolopolo on 12 August – three more players were withdrawn from the Bafana squad.
National First Division side Jomo Cosmos have recalled defenders Thato Lingwati and Mpho Rasilingwane, while Richards Bay have also withdrawn Sandile Mthethwa.
This brings to 10 the number of players who have now left camp after the 2-2 draw in East London last weekend – Menzi Masuku (Chippa United), Shane Thompson (Mthatha Bucks), Tshepo Mabua, Keegan Pool (both Stellenbosch FC) and Gift Motupa (Baroka FC). Asavela Mbekile (Mamelodi Sundowns) has a family bereavement, while Tercious Malepe (Orlando Pirates) was red carded.
There are now 15 players – including Mamelodi Sundowns defender Malebogo Modise who arrived in camp on Monday night.
“It is unfortunate that the CHAN qualifiers come at a bad time in South African football season, and so such withdrawals are bound to happen. We also have to understand where the teams are coming from, and we will forever appreciate the help they have given us where they could. We will keep on knocking at the doors until one of them opens,” said Senong.
“It all boils down to the relationships we are building with all the coaches to ensure that going forward we try and avoid such problems. The truth is, if CHAN continues to be played at this time, we will always have these problems and that is why it is very important to have these relations with club coaches. Only by working together will we get things right. We are going through some challenges but we will overcome.”
Four players will be joining Bafana as late replacements – Kgotso Moleko, Sibusiso Khumalo, Siya Ngezana (all Kaizer Chiefs) and Siphelele Ndlovu, who is from TS Galaxy in the ABC Motsepe League.
“This tournament is all about giving exposure and that is our mission. Since the start we have given several a chance to don the national team jersey and some of them are very promising, they are stars of the future. We believe that so far we have achieved our objective of giving international experience to some players, and for that we must again thank the clubs for the assistance,” added Senong.
“We believe strongly that we can go to Zambia and compete. We are not saying it but we all saw what happened in East London, we were almost home and dry but they came back last minute to equalise – so that gives us confidence that we can go there and hurt them in their backyard. We are positive that we will do well.”
The squad departs for Zambia on Thursday.
The match between South Africa and Zambia will be played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium. Kick-off is at 15h00.
LATEST BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD FOR CHAN
NO. PLAYER'S NAME CLUB
1. Steven HOFFMAN Platinum Stars FC
2. Bruce BVUMA Kaizer Chiefs FC
3. Mario BOOYSEN Mamelodi Sundowns FC
4. Malebogo MODISE Mamelodi Sundowns FC
5. Kgotso MOLEKO Kaizer Chiefs FC
6. Sibusiso KHUMALO Kaizer Chiefs FC
7. Siya NGEZANA Kaizer Chiefs FC
8. Siphelele NDLOVU TS Galaxy (ABC Motsepe League)
9. Jabulani SHONGWE Bidvest Wits FC
10. Jamie WEBBER Stellenbosch FC
11. Sphelele NTSHANGASE Black Leopards FC
12 Sibusiso KUMALO Mamelodi Sundowns FC
13. Masilake PHOHLONGO Ajax Cape Town FC
14. Wiseman MEYIWA Kaizer Chiefs FC
15. Linda MNTAMBO Jomo Cosmos FC
16. Bonginkosi NTULI Mamelodi Sundowns FC
17. Ryan MOON Kaizer Chiefs FC
18. Tshegofatso MABASA Bloemfontein Celtic FC
19. Dumisani ZUMA Bloemfontein Celtic FC