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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Bafana Bafana will ‘miss’ striker Lyle Foster at Afcon

Foster who has been left out as he's still recovering from mental health problems.

It’s nearly three years since Molefi Ntseki was sacked as Bafana Bafana coach following their failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

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The ’96 African champions make a return to the continent’s biggest competition taking place in Ivory Coast this month with everyone seemingly taking notice of their remarkable progress under Hugo Broos.

Bafana have been lavishly praised and being named as one of the favourites to go all the way at the nations cup by football legends Yaya Touré and Jay-Jay Okocha.

Phakaaathi caught up legendary goalkeeper John Tlale who was part of Bafana’s squad that lifted the AFCON trophy 28 years ago.

He reckons that the absence of Burnley striker Lyle Foster who has been left out as he’s still recovering from mental health problems will be felt upfront.

“Yes, I think Bafana can compete but my main worry is that the boy from Burnley is not coming,” he said.

“I think he was going to add more value upfront because sometimes we can’t only rely on Percy Tau. When he is off-form, we struggle upfront. Lyle would have added more value because he is forceful and he would have come with that confidence to say that I am playing in a big league in England.

“All eyes would have been on him and that’s where other players like Percy were going to shine. That’s not to say that this is a one-man team because I still think that the guys can perform well but we were going to be more aggressive if Lyle was available.”

Tlale who was also competing for a spot in goal with Andre Arendse and Roger De Sa in his playing days is happy with the goalkeeping trio of Ronwen Williams, Veli Mothwa and Ricardo Goss.

“I think we’re solid with goalkeepers because even when Veli had his chance he did well,” he said.

“With Goss, his game at SuperSport United tells you that he has improved and he’s playing very well. I think that’s one area where we’re covered in the national team.”

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Bafana are expected to go into camp on Thursday before traveling to Stellenbosch for a training camp. Following a training match against Lesotho that will be played behind closed doors at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, they will depart for West Africa on January 11.

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