Bafana squad di­vides views

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - MARC STRY­DOM and TSHEP­ANG MAILWANE

BAFANA Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba s squad an­nounced this week for per­haps the two most cru­cial matches yet of his ten­ure the home and away Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fiers against Cameroon met with mixed re­ac­tion.

But four ex-Bafana play­ers Sun­day World spoke to a goal­keeper, de­fender, mid­fielder and striker felt Mashaba got it right for the games on March 26 in Cameroon and March 29 in Dur­ban that South Africa are likely to have to win to keep alive their hopes of reach­ing Gabon 2017. Goal­keeper

Itume­leng Khune, Jack­son Mabokg­wane, Dar­ren Keet

Mark An­der­son (7 caps for Bafana): Khune and Mabokg­wane have not been play­ing for their clubs, but in big matches you want play­ers with caps. Khune has ex­pe­ri­ence. He played again for Kaizer Chiefs this week [in the 2-0 de­feat to Plat­inum Stars] and the goals weren t his fault.

I m glad Dar­ren has been re­called. He had one bad game in the 2013 Af­con opener against Al­ge­ria, then dis­ap­peared. He s do­ing well for his club [Kor­trijk in Bel­gium]. De­fence

Anele Ng­con­gca, Siyabonga Nh­lapo, Asavela Mbek­ile, Thabo Mat­laba, S fiso Hlanti, Ch­es­lyn Jamp­ies, Mu­lo­mowan­dau Mathoho, Ri­valdo Coetzee, Thu­lani Hlatshwayo

David Ny­athi (45 caps): It s not a bad se­lec­tion at all. Anele has played in Europe and has so much ex­pe­ri­ence. Thabo Mat­laba at left-back has played in the Cham­pi­ons League and Caf Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup. Hav­ing played Cameroon I know they re phys­i­cal, but not so mo­bile. Full-backs like Mat­laba and Ng­con­gca can trou­ble them.

At cen­tre-back I don t think any­one would ques­tion the per­for­mances and choice of Coetzee, Mathoho and Hlatshwayo. Mid­field

Andile Jali, Kamo­h­elo Mokotjo, Thu­lani Serero, Themba Zwane, Wil­liam Twala, Jab­u­lani Shongwe, Mpho Makola, Mandla Masango, Hlom­pho Kekana

Ben­son Mh­longo (36 Bafana caps): The mid­field is strong. Dean Furman is not in the team, but has not set­tled at Su­per­Sport United. We need strong de­fen­sive mid­field­ers and Kekana and Jali will pro­vide the pro­tec­tion the de­fend­ers need.

Mpho Makola can take free-kicks and shoot from range. Jab­u­lani Shongwe is an­other player do­ing well at his club [Bid­vest Wits]. He needs to show he can do it for Bafana. I was sur­prised to see Wil­liam Twala, but we need wingers with pace. He s de­ter­mined and can add value. Strik­ers

Tham­sanqa Gabuza, Prince Nx­u­malo, Tokelo Rantie, Dino Ndlovu

Mark Wil­liams (23 caps): I ve played against Cameroon and they are phys­i­cal. It s not go­ing to be easy for the strik­ers, but maybe that s why Shakes has Gabuza.

He s not your con­sis­tent striker who scores week in, week out lo­cally, but Shakes has con­fi­dence in him be­cause he gives 100%. He will get into those places where it hurts most, and that can be im­por­tant play­ing on the con­ti­nent.

Rantie has pace and he has done well for Bafana, but he is not play­ing for Bournemouth.

It s good to see Prince there. I worked with him at Su­per­Sport United [as a strik­ers coach]. Roger de Sa is giv­ing him con­fi­dence at Ajax Cape Town.

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