Booth questions Downs defender's snub


Matthew Booth would like to get an opportunity to pick Stuart Baxter’s brain about his decision to exclude one of Mamelodi Sundowns’ defenders from the Bafana Bafana squad.

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The former Bafana defender is surprised that Sundowns right back Thapelo Morena has not been included in the 30-man provisional Africa Cup of Nations squad, which will be cut down to 23 in a couple of weeks.

Morena was one of Sundowns’ star performers in the past season, playing in three different positions – right back, right wing and upfront when called upon. The former Bloemfontein Celtic, who played 35 matches in all competitions for his club, has not been able to break into the Bafana side despite being one of the best players at right back.

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“I’m very surprised with Vincent Pule and Thapelo Morena, particularly Morena because he is so versatile. He would give any team a lot of options, right back, right wing and he’s even played striker. He would be perfect for that scenario and he’s played on the continent with Sundowns, so you’ve got to feel a bit sorry for him,” Booth said.

“I say this to youngsters that when I coach does not particularly like him, there’s no good in removing yourself and going to play for another team. You’ve got to stick it out and persevere and prove that you’re worthy of your place. He has the characteristics to keep on going and he will get his chance. I’d love to know privately what Stuart’s thoughts are on Thapelo and why he is not in the squad. But it’s nice that we are having this debate. If we weren’t having these debates, then we’d have serious problems.”

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