Simon Ngomane, coach of the South African Development team, has defended his decision to call up amateur players to represent the country at the Caf Championships in Sudan next month.
Today Ngomane announced a 26-man squad comprising mainly players from the Vodacom League (Second Division).
The only recognised player from the elite ranks in the squad is SuperSport Unite reserve goalkeeper Jacob Mokhasi and AmaZulu’s transfer-listed striker Myron Shongwe.
Ngomane argued that he had no option but to go with what he had at his disposal.but he said he had no any other option.
This is due to the unavailability of the players in the Absa Premiership because the tournament does not fall on a Fifa calendar date, he reasoned.
The team is likely to be captained by Mokhasi, who was also placed on transfer by SuperSport.
However, Ngomane was still confident of doing well in Sudan where his team has been drawn with Ghana, Niger and Zimbabwe in Group B.
“The PSL can’t release players so we are working on Plan B. I believe we have what it takes to play this tournament.
“The truth is we would have loved to have all those other players we had in mind, but we will do with what we have.
We have selected about four or five PSL players and their experience will come in great stead.
“The reason we have also called up those older players is that the young ones need to learn from them.
The majority of the players in camp though are young enough to be considered for Bafana Bafana, some still qualify for the national Under 23 side,” said Ngomane.
The team has been hard at training in Nelspruit since the second week of January and Ngomane said the conditions in Mpumalanga were nearly the same as in Sudan.
The team departs on January 29, but will first play an international friendly against Sweden at Mbombela on Saturday.