Johannesburg - Gordon Igesund has opted for youth in the Bafana Bafana squad for the southern African Cosafa Cup in Zambia next month.
said, after naming a 20-man squad in Johannesburg on Thursday, regular
number one goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune had been left out and
defender Thabo Nthethe would lead the team.
“This is our senior national team and 50 percent are 23 and younger,” Igesund said.
“We want to win the tournament, and get our ranking up.
"We need to get into the top 20 in the world and top three in Africa, and to do that we need to win games.”
Igesund opted for two goalkeepers, rather than three, in Khune's absence.
“There was a decision to take two keepers for three games," he said.
“I also wanted to make sure I had extra players out there in other positions.”
believed the Cosafa Cup would provide good opportunity for the new
players as they build for the future. He also felt his job was not under
“When I joined, we had a plan put in place until 2018," he said.
“The problem has been the swapping and changing of the coach. That's not going to happen (again) and hasn't happened.”
said the way the side had responded since he had been in charge -- he
was appointed more than a year ago -- showed they were on the right
“We've created passion and an identity and we're very well on track at the moment.
“At least 50 percent of these players could be playing in the 2018 World Cup.”
Entire groups of players, according to Igesund, could be lost when coaches changed.
The SA Football Association (SAFA) confirmed earlier this month that Igesund's job was safe for the immediate future.
“A lot of the players I'm announcing today have come through our development programs.
“Overall we're on the right track and we're going to continue finding these players.
come and go, it's the players that have to play a certain way and we've
got this identity now and we need to stick with it. We have been off
track for the last 10 years.”
Raising players from the younger age groups was high on Igesund's agenda.
“We need to organise our youth better and identify players better.
“When we get to 2018 all the players will have come through the development programs.”Bafana
Goalkeepers: Wayne Sandilands, Ronwen Williams.
Fransman, Thabo Nthethe (captain), Tefu Mashumaite, Eric Mathoho,
Thulani Hlathshwayo, Tebogo Langerman, Tshepo Gumede.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Hlompho Kekana, Lebogang
Manyama, Luyolo Nomandela, Jabulani Shongwe, Ruzaigh Gamildien.
Strikers: Katlego Mashego, Kermit Erasmus, Bernard Parker, Thabani