NEW Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has announced a squad of 34 players for the two upcoming CAF ORANGE Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2015 qualifying matches against Sudan and Nigeria.
This is Mashaba’s first squad announcement since his appointment as head coach of the Senior Men’s National Team last month.
Bafana Bafana travel to Khartoum for a date with Sudan on September 5 and host Nigeria in Cape Town on September 10.
“It is very interesting to select the national team players, but there is also the difficult side of it, especially at this level where there are several very good players in different positions. There is huge talent in this country,” said Mashaba.
“I chose a big squad because we are playing two crucial matches in a short space of time and we don’t want to leave anything to chance,” said Mashaba adding that the emphasis on the selected squad was on the future.
“As you can see in terms of age, we would like to allign ourselves with the SAFA Vision 2022 where South Africa should be among the best on the continent and in the world. To reach that target, along the way we will come across several competitions like the 2015 Morocco AFCON, the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2017 Libya AFCON, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, among others. It would be great to play in those tournaments hence the young players we have selected as part of a long-term vision,” said the Bafana Bafana mentor.
“But we also looked at current form, and some players are unfortunate not to be part of the squad because they are talented but they don’t have the momentum yet as the league has just started. All we ask for now is support from the public for this project we are working on.”
Bafana Bafana will charter a flight to Sudan which departs on Wednesday, 3 September and will return immediately after the match on Friday, 5 September, landing in Johannesburg on Saturday morning (6 September).
The team will then travel to Cape Town on the same day to prepare for the Nigeria clash which will take place on September 10.
The match in the Mother City is hosted in partnership with the City of Cape Town.
“The City of Cape Town is thrilled to host Bafana Bafana for their first home match of the ORANGE Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2015 Final Round Qualifiers at the Cape Town Stadium on September 10. We are proud to welcome our home team back to the Mother City just a few months after successfully hosting the CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN 2014).
“The match on September 10 is part of Cape Town’s extensive Tourism Month offering and a treat for the many football enthusiasts across our city and the rest of the country. We encourage fans to get their tickets early and look forward to seeing some exciting football on the pitch,” said Executive Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille.
Even though he has selected 34 players, only 25 will travel to Sudan with the rest joining Bafana Bafana in Cape Town on the squad’s return.
Bafana Bafana start their camp on Sunday, 31 August in Johannesburg.
(below is the list of the selected Bafana Bafana squad).
BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD LIST VS SUDAN AND NIGERIA
31 AUGUST – 11 SEPTEMBER 2014