Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
1 minute read
16 Aug 2017
11:03 am

Missing links in Bafana’s armour

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Bafana Bafana coaches were running around trying to find players to fill the void following the withdrawal of 14 players from the team doing duty in the Caf Championship of Nations (Chan) qualifiers.

Former Amajita coach Thabo Senong (Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix)

Just 15 players attended Bafana’s training session at the FNB Stadium yesterday afternoon, but assistant coach Thabo Senong was hopeful they would have a few additions either last night or this morning. He said they needed at least 18 players to have a balanced squad.

“We have 15 players at the moment. We have had 10 withdrawals,” said Senong.

“The PSL season is starting this weekend and teams have to have their players back,” he added.

Senong was left in charge of the team’s sessions on Tuesday while head coach Stuart Baxter was busy with preparations for this afternoon’s Fifa World Cup qualifier squad announcement.

Seven players were initially supposed to leave camp after the first leg against Zambia which was played last weekend but a further three have had to be released including Orlando Pirates’ Tercious Malepe who received a red card on Saturday.

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Asavela Mbekile was released because he has had to go home due to a family bereavement.

“We have already started sourcing replacements and we hope to have them by tomorrow morning. We are just waiting for a response from the clubs,” he said.

Senong said they understood why teams would want their players back and would go as far as the ABC Motsepe League teams to look for players if push comes to shove.

Bafana go into the second leg qualifier clearly on the back foot after allowing Zambia to come back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 draw.