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More Bafana Changes, Yeye In

There seems to be no end to the dramatic changes to the Bafana Bafana squad travelling to Australia and New Zealand, with four more players now having pulled out of the team.

The Siya crew has been informed that Thabo Matlaba, Oupa Manyisa, Kermit Erasmus and Teko Modise will miss the trip.

Soccer Laduma reported earlier today that Modise pulled out because he already had plans prior to his announced return to the national side, and Gordon Igesund had told him he could join the squad if he did not have any prior plans.

With regards to Erasmus, he is said to already be on his way to Holland on holiday with his family, which was also a pre-arranged affair. The two friendly games will be played outside Fifa calendar dates, meaning that clubs are not obliged to release players for international duty.

It has also been mentioned that Matlaba and Manyisa have suffered injuries. In such a case, the protocol is that injured players have to report to camp nonetheless, to be assessed by the national team doctors. However, the Orlando Pirates duo failed to report for camp, and it remains to be seen if SAFA will take any action or not in that regard.  

The latest players to be called up as late replacements are Wits’ Siyabonga Nhlapo, Kaizer Chiefs midfielder, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Sibusiso Khumalo of SuperSport United and Platinum Stars’ talismanic striker, Siphelele Mthembu.

Despite the challenges, Igesund said he was satisfied with the players selected, saying,“I am very happy with this squad. As I said before, I have identified around 34 players who form the core of my vision and all these replacements are part of that bigger group. We are going to Australia and New Zealand to compete,” he commented. 

The team will be jetting out of the country on Thursday, and Igesund will be hoping for no last-minute withdrawals to what is now a somewhat depleted squad.

Latest Bafana squad: 

Goalkeepers: Senzo Meyiwa, Ronwen Williams

Defenders: Thabo Nthethe, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Anele Ngcongca, Erick Mathoho, Thato Mokeke, Sibusiso Khumalo

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Thuso Phala, Thulani Serero, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Ayanda Patosi, Bongani Zungu, Themba Zwane

Strikers: Siphelele Mthembu, Tokelo Rantie

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