By FOCUS REPORTERS
Coach Simon Ngomane has selected the final 23 players for the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) taking place in Sudan from February 4-24.
The South African National development team has been in camp since January 11 in preparation for the much anticipated tournament that will feature only African players that ply their trade in local leagues.
South Africa will face Ghana in their first match of the tournament on February 5 followed by Niger on February 9 with their final group match on February 13; all matches are scheduled to take place in Hilal, Sudan.
Head Coach Simon Ngomane says the team is ready to represent the country with pride, and he expects all players to perform to the best of their abilities.
“All these players are very competitive and as the technical team we are very satisfied with the final 23 selected to go and represent the country in Sudan. I believe the boys will do well in the tournament, and I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the players initially selected for the camp on making it this far.”
Three players are on standby incase of injuries or any other unforeseen matters that might arise during the team’s stay in Hilal, Sudan.
“First of all; these player will remain in our database going forward, remember that we started what we called Project 40 which simply means that we came into camp with 40 players and we had to work hard trimming the team in to these final 23 players submitted to CAF for the tournament. I must say all 40 players we started with have an equal opportunity to make it back into the team in the future,” added Ngomane
Commenting on South Africa’s first match in the tournament against Ghana; Ngomane says the team understands how tough and important that particular encounter will be. He pleaded with the South African public to rally behind the team.
“We have always said that we need to see football development in the country and this is the team that is working hard to realise that goal as far as development is concerned; and what better way than a tournament as huge as the African Nations Championship, we as a country need to encourage these boys and make them feel that they are proud ambassadors for the country out in Sudan”.
The players are currently on a short break from camp; they will report back to camp on Friday and leave for Sudan on Saturday 29 January 2011.
The Final Team is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Mokhasi Jacob (Supersport United), Shimange Matimba
(Giyani Hotspurs), De Villiers Richards (Witbank Spurs)
Defenders: Mlalandle Aphiwe (Sivutsa FC), Mabunda Tiyane (Black Leopards) Mkhwanazi Nhlakanipho (Ireland FC), Khubeka Sakhile (Gqikazi All Stars), Shongwe Jabulani (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mabena Sphiwe (African Stars)
Midfielders: Nkosi Mlungisi (Barberton Stars), Mthimkulu Minenhle, Nkosi Calvin (both from Alex United), Mogakabe Thato (Sicilians FC), Kunene Sandile (Real Classic), Khoza Humphrey (Witbank Spurs), Luping Sandile (Trabzon FC), Mashego Katlego (Baroka FC)
Strikers: Shongwe Myron (Amazulu), Ngidi Mzikayifani (Maluti FC), Shabangu Bheki (African All Stars), Zimba Collins (Vardos FC), Manqele Edward (Trabzon), Ntombela Wish (Citizen FC)