By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
Head coach, Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane has since included several youngsters in his 25-man squad to face Niger. Kick-off will be 8.30pm.Among the young players in Mosimane’s team include SuperSport United’s Kermit Erasmus, Daylon Claasen (Lierse FC, Belgium) as well as Keegan Ritchie (Moroka Swallows).
Making his come back after missing the friendly international match against Ghana due to injury will be Supersport captain Bongani Khumalo while Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele has also been called up.”In presenting vision 2014, I said we will utilise a combination of youth and experience to achieve our objectives, hence a gradual inclusion of youngsters into the fold. I will not throw them into the deep end. Some of these players were in the Under 20 national team that played in this division’s FIFA World Cup in Egypt. They are now part of the national U-23 set up and I don’t want to rush them,” said Mosimane during his team announcement.
Mosimane said he want to inculcate the culture and philosophy of the senior team into these young players.“They will gain valuable experience in the process as they interact with the experienced players in camp, I have retained the team that played in the last match against Ghana,” said Mosimane.
The clash against Niger will be the first in the 2012 AFCON qualifiers, and the Pitso said he is aware of the importance of the match.”The key factor is collecting three points in this fixture . We are playing at home and it is therefore crucial to start with a win because when we play away you will never know what might happen. So it is important to impose ourselves on the opponents and make sure they play their game. I would like to win with plenty of goals because we might need them later in the qualifiers. We are busy collecting information about Niger and studying them, but we will be ready when we meet them,” added the coach.
Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe has appealed to South Africans to fill the Mbombela venue on the day of the match.
“We are fortunate to play our first AFCON qualifying match at home. It gives us an opportunity to kick off the campaign on a positive note because our team relishes playing in front of capacity crowds. Let us make Bafana Bafana feel that they are truly playing at home . The experience will work in our favour in the upcoming away fixtures expected to be played in front of capacity crowds. The Saturday night football fever in Nelspruit is not to be missed,” said Sedibe.
Three Categories of Tickets for the Bafana versus Niger match will be sold through Computicket outlets and Shoprite Checkers stores. Tickets for Lower Tier costs R100, Upper Tier tickets cost R50 and tickets for the Disabled will be R50.
Bafana Bafana goes into camp on Sunday, 29 August 2010 at Southern Sun Monte Casino.
They will hold their training sessions at the Hoerskool Randburg from Monday, August 30 to Thursday, September 2. The team departs for Nelspruit on Thursday, September 2 evening, and will have one training session on the next day. Niger is expected in South Africa on the same day.
Bafana squad to face Niger:
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates)
Defenders: Morgan Gould, Bongani Khumalo (both SuperSport United), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk), Siyabonga Sangweni, Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates)
Midfielders: Daine Klate, Teko Modise, Happy Jele, Jali (all from Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (both from Kaizer Chiefs), Steven Pienaar (Everton), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan)
Strikers: Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Sthembiso Ngcobo (Chiefs), Bernard Parker (FC Twente), Keagan Ritchie (Swallows), Klaasen (Lierse) and Erasmus (SuperSport).