Igesund: South Africa is behind rivals in Chan preparations

Gordon Igesund spoke to Goal about SA's training camp from December 26-29, before the team spends New Year's at home (a camp that was to be later cancelled)
Bafana Bafana boss Gordon Igesund will allow his African Nations Championship (Chan) squad to be at home for the New Year, but not before the entire team head for a training camp in Johannesburg starting on Boxing Day.

“We’re going into a camp with the squad on the 26th of December, for three days. We’ll get the players together, see the situation," Igesund told Goal  on Tuesday, but he changed his mind on Wednesday.

“Then on the 29th, the 30th and the 31st of December, those players will go home to their families and spend some quality time with their families."

The team will the reassemble on January 2, when they depart for Cape Town, with preparations starting in ernest once they touch down in the Mother City.

"On the 2nd of January, the whole squad, including my technical team and myself will be departing for Cape Town and we start our first training session there on the 2nd of January," Igesund added.

“We’re hoping to have a match in that period of time, probably round about the 5th of January with one of the teams that are in the competition, that still has to be arranged."

Bafana will about nine days to fine tune their squad before the start of the continental competition which gets underway on January 11.

While South Africa gear up for the tournament, Igesund revealed that teams like Nigeria and Ghana have already spent in excess of a month in training, meaning Bafana will have a lot of work to get through.

“It’s a tough group that we’re in, there are no easy groups. We know that Mali are a formidable team, we know that Nigeria are the champions," Igesund explains.

“In the Nigerian squad, eight or nine of those players played in the Africa Cup of Nations and won it, so it’ll be a tough tournament."