Baxter explains Morena, Memela snubs
Posted: 16 March 2018 Time: 19:00
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has explained that calling up Mamelodi Sundowns defender Thapelo Morena would have been detrimental to SAFA’s policy of development.
Baxter earlier this week named a balanced squad containing both youth and experience for Bafana’s participation in the upcoming four-nations friendly tournament in Zambia next week.
Several up and coming players such as Ajax Cape Town’s Brandon Petersen, Bidvest Wits’ Reeve Frosler, SuperSport United’s Teboho Mokoena and Kaizer Chiefs’ Ryan Moon, amongst others, were included.
However, Morena, who is a former national under-23 full-back, has made 22 apperances in all competitions for the Brazilians this season but is yet to earn a re-call under Baxter, after making his senior international debut under former coach Shakes Mashaba.
The British tactician has since explained that the 24-year-old has to be sacrificed in favour of a younger player like Frosler, while Ramahlwe Mphahlele provides more experience.
“Morena, I think, is a good player. But if I’m looking at selecting either Morena or Reeve Frosler, I’ve got to go with Reeve,” said Baxter.
“Reeve should have been at the World Cup and got that experience, and he’s been in the national setup so there’s a red line there that we bring players through.
“So, I think that’s more important than going for Morena. I think Rama is a solid experienced player that has been there, done it and has played under me."
Baxter also feels, like Morena, other players have also warranted selection based on recent form – such as Orlando Pirates winger Luvuyo Memela – but with a bigger picture in mind he has had to put off their selections.
“There’s a lot of players that fall into the category that I do think are good players. I’m not blind, I do see them doing well for their clubs,” he further explained.
“Like Memela has been really good for Pirates but at this point in his career, I don’t think this is the time to bring him into this sort of fixture.
“Because then I would have to leave out a Ryan Moon or Teboho Mokoena or someone, and that’s wrong. So, yes, I do think he’s a good player but that’s the reasons he’s not got a space here.”
Memela has contributed five goals and four assists in 16 league appearances for the Buccaneers this season.