Shakes Mashaba broom sweeps clean

2014-08-24 15:01

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Shakes Mashaba’s “Maseru to Moscow road” was evident when he announced his squad. Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was the only member of the 2010 World Cup team to have been retained.

Other former regulars who retained their spots – Dean Furman, Anele Ngcongca and Tokelo Rantie – featured prominently in former coach Gordon Igesund’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations team, while Sibusiso Vilakazi and Buhle Mkhwanazi played at this year’s African Nations Championship.

The coach called up five members from the Under-20 team he guided to a Cosafa Cup triumph in Maseru, Lesotho, in December. His view is that these players will gain experience heading to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The players are goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi (19), defenders Ayabulela

Magqwaka (18) and Rivaldo Coetzee (17), as well as strikers Nhlakanipho Ntuli (18) and ­Siyanda Ngubo (17).

The group was part of the Amajita pool that Mashaba built from scratch and won the Cosafa Cup, and they are still part of the team that is on the verge of qualifying for next year’s African Youth Championships in Senegal.

Previous technical staff members were also not spared – fitness trainer Kabelo Rangoaga was the only person retained from the team that worked with Igesund.

As reported last week, Mashaba confirmed his current Under-20 assistant, Thabo Senong, as his second assistant.

The Mamelodi Sundowns youth coach – who turns 34 next month – has come a long way with Mashaba, who also listed Owen Da Gama as his first deputy coach. (see graphic).

Mashaba said he was hoping he will be given a chance to recommend his successor at Amajita.

Yesterday, Mashaba revealed to City Press he will guide the South Africa Under-20 team for the last time in Polokwane next Sunday afternoon and then ­assemble his first Bafana camp.

He said his dual role as a junior and senior coach will end in Polokwane, where his beloved Amajita carry a 1-1 ­result into the second leg of the African Youth Championships qualifier against Cameroon.

The winner will qualify for the final tournament in Senegal next year.

After this match, the five Under-20 players and Senong will begin their preparations for the 2015 Afcon qualifiers against Sudan and Nigeria next month.

Mashaba’s plan for Bafana is clearly ­reflected in the composition of the 34-member Bafana squad.

“If you look at the age of the [Bafana] team I picked, it is in line with [the SA Football Association’s] vision to build for the future,” he told City Press yesterday.

“My duties as Under-20 coach come to an end next week. I will be on the bench for the Polokwane game and I will only join Bafana later in the day because [Sunday, August 31] will be the first day they report for camp.”

Mashaba said he will only appoint a captain after meeting with all the players.

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