Igesund picks the best team he can

2013-12-24 00:00

BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund selected the best possible squad for the upcoming 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) that will be hosted in the country.

The competition for locally based players features 16 teams from across the continent. It starts at the Cape Town Stadium on January 11 and finishes at the same venue on February 1.

With the competition falling outside of the Fifa calendar, clubs were not obliged to release their players as the competition would take place at the height of their preparation for the second half of the season.

With Orlando Pirates being behind in the number of games played in the league, their players have been left out by Igesund, robbing the side of talents such as Thandani Ntshumayelo, Andile Jali, Kermit Erasmus, Senzo Meyiwa, Thabo Mtlaba and Daine Klate.

Platinum Stars right back Vuyo Mere makes a return to the national team after last featuring in 2007.

And, with Dikwena winning the MTN 8 and Telkom Knock-out already this season, his Dikwena team-mates Siyabonga Mpontshane and Lindokuhle Mbatha got their first call ups, while 22-year-old Tshepo Gumede is back after being involved in this year’s Cosafa Cup.

Goalkeeper Mpontshane will provide back up to Bafana’s World Cup duo of skipper Itumeleng Khune and Moeneeb Josephs.

Josephs, who has conceded just six goals in the league this season, makes a return in the place of Pirates stopper Senzo Meyiwa, the man who dislodged him at club and country.

Another return player to the side is Pietermaritzburg’s Bryce Moon who last played for the national team during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup also hosted in the country.

Moon has been a revelation this season for the title chasing Mamelodi Sundowns, and will want to keep his place in the squad in the future, with the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco and the 2018 World Cup in Russia being a target.

Igesund has also been loyal to Lerato Chabangu.

After a promising start as a 20-year-old, Chabangu’s career went on a rapid downward spiral until it was rescued by then Moroka Swallows coach Igesund in 2010.

The squad features a strong contingent from champions Kaizer Chiefs with Khune joined by Tsepo Masilela, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala and last season, and currently this season’s top scorer Bernard Parker.

Bafana squad for Chan

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Moeneeb Josephs, Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Defenders: Tefu Mashamaite, Tsepo Gumede, Thabo Nthethe, Tebogo Langerman, Vuyo Mere, Bryce Moon, Kwanda Mngonyama, Tsepo Masilela.

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Lerato Chabangu, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Jabu Shongwe, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Ryan Chapman.

Forwards: Bernard Parker, Edward Manqele, Katlego Mashego.

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