The inclusion of Mamelodi Sundown’s goalkeeper Brian Baloyi in the final South Africa squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup has ignited widespread debate in the host country.
National team coach Joel Santana was quick to give justification for Baloyi’s inclusion in the 23-man squad at the post selection press conference.
“Baloyi is experienced and well-respected in the industry. He is
respected by the players and is an inspirational figure in the team and
is a team player.
“By including Brian in the final squad we were looking to strike a
balance in terms of experience in the team. (Ithumeleng) Khune is not
as experienced as Rowen (Fernandez), while Rowen himself doesn’t have
the kind of experience that Brian has.
“So in the end in what we found in Brian fitted the bill which is why
we have included him. He will bring in a positive influence in our
“In reality Josephs did a good job, but unfortunately we had to drop
one 'keeper. But the same rules to the other dropped players that they
should keep fit also apply to Moeneeb and we still respect him for the
talent that he has,” says Santana.
Baloyi, 35, is by far the oldest player in the team. He has made a
rather surprising late return to Bafana after finding much game time at
Sundowns following the injury of Calvin Marlin towards the end of the
season, while at the same time doubling as assistant coach.
He has gate crashed his way into the possibility of getting game time
since Fernandez has not been playing regularly at Armenia Bielefeld
in Germany while Kaizer Chiefs’ first choice Khune is lacking experience on the world stage.