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Former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker feels dropping Orlando Pirates player Andile Jali from the Afcon squad was a mistake by Gordon Igesund

Former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker who won South Africa the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations feels that Andile Jali would have had a significant impact in the tournament.

Jali is amongst some of the players that were dropped when the 23-man, final squad was announced.
Barker says he is quite happy with the squad but he didn’t expect Jali to be left out of the side.

“Well there are lot of things that the coach (Gordon Igesund) might have considered, but for me Jali is one of the players that were going to have a good run.  He has worked hard at his game from the young boy that he was into becoming a complete team player. Apart from him the squad looks interesting,” said Barker.

Although Katlego Mphela has been in talks recently, the veteran coach said he would rather open up with the Kaizer Chiefs duo, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro in front. Despite the fact that Majoro doesn’t bring much international experience, Barker said they make a great team and that is what is needed at this stage.

“I think they (Majoro and Parker) make a great combination and they know each other.  This will ensure that they support and back each other up.  Off course I am not leaving Mphela out of the picture, he has a role to play as well,” he said.

Elsewhere in the squad, even though Siphiwe Tshabalala has not had any luck attracting clubs abroad, after a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup, Barker has high hopes for him.

“He comes into the side with lot of experience and that alone says it all.  Overall he has matured and he is one player that I believe will make the nation proud,” the coach said.