Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is crossing fingers that his tenure at the national team can shift into another gear.
At a media briefing on Friday, Ntseki announced that the squad would play friendly matches against Namibia and Zambia in the upcoming Fifa international week.
Bafana will face Namibia at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek on October 8, while the clash with Zambia is set to take place at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, North West, on October 13.
The two fixtures are in preparation for Bafana’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations double-header against São Tomé and Príncipe next month.
The first leg will be on November 13 at FNB Stadium, while the return fixtures will be away.
Ntseki’s had a bumpy ride due to circumstances beyond his control since his appointment in August last year.
Months after his appointment, Zambia and Mauritius boycotted friendly games against Bafana due to xenophobic violence in South Africa.
Earlier this year, scheduled international games were also called off, this time because of the Covid-19 crisis.
“As we all know, we’re living with a ‘new normal’ – or, rather, a ‘new abnormal’, because this is the first time it’s happened,” Ntseki said on Friday.
“Of course, we’re looking forward to working with the team again after such a long time. It’s been difficult operating under such conditions. However, I’ve chosen to look on the brighter side and stay in the positive lane.”READ | Tim Spirit: Molefi, my bra, do what you think is best for Bafana
He then elaborated on his squad selection.
“The squad is a mixture of experienced players and younger ones coming from the Under-23 team. We’ll need the senior players to come in and familiarise the younger guys with the team dynamic and protocols,” he said.
The team announcement was supposed to have taken place last week, but was delayed because Safa needed clarity from government on the Covid-19 regulations pertaining to international sporting events.
Darren Keet (Oud-Heverlee Leuven, Belgium), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Ricardo Goss (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Thibang Phete (Os Belenenses SAD, Portugal), Motjeka Madisha (Sundowns), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Orlando Pirates), Sifiso Hlanti (free agent), Innocent Maela (Pirates), Mosa Lebusa (Sundowns), Abbubaker Mobara (Cape Town City), Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs).
Andile Jali, Mothobi Mvala, Themba Zwane (all Sundowns), Thabo Nodada (Cape Town City), Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport), Gladwin Shitolo (Golden Arrows), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Percy Tau (Anderlecht, Belgium), Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg United), Sipho Mbule (SuperSport), Luther Singh (SC Braga, Portugal).
Kermit Erasmus (Cape Town City), Kurt Abrahams (KVC Westerlo, Belgium), Lebohang Manyama (Chiefs).