Speaking at Safa house after the draw on Wednesday, the Bafana coach alluded that the tournament makes for great development and that youth will again be key like in the four-nations tournament which Bafana won in Zambia recently.
Bafana were seeded and will start their campaign in the quarterfinals against the winners of group A which consists of Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros Islands and Seychelles.
Group B consists of Botswana, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi.
Other teams who were seeded include reigning champions Zimbabwe, who will play Group B winners, while Zambia will face Namibia and Lesotho will lock horns with Swaziland to complete the last-eight line-up.
“Yes, it is a challenge (selecting the squad). I think it’s been more challenging in the previous years because we didn’t really have a clear position on what we want from the tournament. So many times we stumbled into the tournament with an understrength team investing time in players that won’t probably represent Bafana again,” Baxter said.
“Now the strategy should be clear, we will pick the strongest possible team. At the same time investing time in younger players who we feel will go on to play in the Olympics and maybe Bafana Bafana,” he added.
“Therefore we have a clear picture of what we want now, so I think it makes it less challenging. The challenge is whether we can get the players as the tournament is outside the Fifa calendar.”
The competition is set to kick off on May 27 in the Limpopo province, with the final to be played on June 9.