Today Gordon Igesund named his Bafana Bafana squad that will travel to Agadir to face Morocco next month, handing call-ups to some very talented youngsters.
The game against The Lions of the Atlas is the first proper friendly that Igesund’s men will take part in since their failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, and the former Moroka Swallows coach certainly looks to be planning for the future.
Many people have been calling for a ‘new generation’ of Bafana players to be bled into the side following the World Cup disappointment, and while I wholeheartedly agree, you can’t expect talented young players to blossom without some well-researched fertiliser.
That’s why I’m quite excited by the squad that Igesund has named for the Morocco friendly. There’s a really nice blend of talented youth and experienced veterans who have already earned their stripes.
The average age of the squad sits at about 24-years-old, and with the inclusion of Ronwen Williams, Kgosi Ntlhe, Siyanda Xulu, Bongani Zungu, Ayanda Patosi and Keagan Dolly, they have six players aged 21 or under.
Add to that the experience of the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca, Tsepo Masilela and Bernard Parker, and you have players whom the new batch can really learn from.
For instance, give Ntlhe the opportunity to spend time with a player like Masilela, and when the time comes for the latter to hang up his international boots, the former is ready and waiting.
We may be missing a few Orlando Pirates players at present, some of whom can add real quality to the side, but there are players like Dean Furman and Reneilwe Letsholonyane that add an element of steel to the side.
With 11 PSL-based players and 12 making the trip from overseas, it also offers a nice mix in that department, giving the young players the opportunity to train with teammates that ply their trades in some of Europe’s most competitive leagues.
All-in-all, I’m very excited to see what this team can offer. Yes, it’s going to be a tough as going up against Taarabt and Co. but I can honestly that that Gordon is doing something right this time.
After all, you can only improve by playing with, and against, people that are better than you are.
Yours in football,
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