Bafana Bafana

Da Gama considered taking Jali to Rio

Andile Jali during Bafana Bafana's goalless draw against Gambia (Getty Images)
Andile Jali during Bafana Bafana's goalless draw against Gambia (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - National Under-23 head coach Owen Da Gama has explained why he only selected two over-age players for the Rio Olympic Games next month.

Each team is permitted to select three 'over-age' players, but Da Gama only went for the Kaizer Chiefs duo, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and defender Eric Mathoho, to strengthen the AmaGlug-glug squad.

'Rubber Doll' said the reasoning behind choosing only two over-age players was because they intend to build the future Bafana Bafana team consisting of the current Amaglug-glug generation.

“We only decided to select two over-age players, yes we are allowed to make three selections but two is enough for us,” Da Gama told Sport24.

“Because we want to build for the future and we have to stick with our under-23 players, after all the tournament is about the Under-23 teams.

“We did have discussions about that but we agreed on taking the youth to prepare for the future.

Da Gama also said that they did think of selecting either Andile Jali or Thulani Serero, but decided against it and he is not concerned about how far Amaglug-glug would go in the competition without sufficient senior players.

“We did think of Andile Jali and Thulani Serero as well but at the end of the day we had to go for our young team.

“And whether we win or not, we must have long term goals about the future.”

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