Cape Town - Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has revealed his side's strategy as they prepare for the upcoming COSAFA Cup and AFCON tournaments.
The 2019 COSAFA Cup will be staged in Durban from May 25-June 8, serving as vital preparation for the region's Africa Cup of Nations-bound sides.
Thereafter Bafana Bafana have been drawn in Group D, the 'Group of Death', alongside Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia.
Baxter, speaking to journalists outlined his plans for the national team ahead of both continental competitions as they aim to reach the latter stages of the prestigious 24-man AFCON tournament.
Baxter firstly outlined his strategy ahead of both tournaments:
- To take a reduced squad of 22 players to Durban for COSAFA comprising of new faces and some with past experiences. Around 10 AFCON places are up for grabs.
- I will take the first few days and will hand over to Molefi for continuity.
- Allowing some players to continue to gain international experience and others to gain match experience.
"It's a difficult squad to put together," Baxter said. "Added to that is that the Under-23's are away and have their own commitment so if we were able to include them the AFCON squad would have been a much younger group, but it's a decent squad."
"It's also pointless in naming the squad now given the time-frame and there might be some injuries or circumstances that would force us to change the team selection.
"The first squad will consist of young players to give them an opportunity and players who have played before to give them a chance to throw their hat in the ring for a place at the AFCON tournament."
When speaking on the squad assembly aims and objectives Baxter highlighted an aim to:
- To make both COSAFA and AFCON meaningful events with regards to continuity and development.
- To ensure that all players are recuperated properly both pre during and between events.
- To remain competitive and be as well prepared as possible.
- To work within a financial framework.
Bafana Bafana get their AFCON campaign underway against Ivory Coast on June 24 at the Alsalam Stadium.
Kick-off is at 16:00.
Coach Stuart Baxter’s strategy for the COSAFA Cup. pic.twitter.com/AsPqqBz44z— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) May 2, 2019