Baxter announces Bafana Bafana squad to face Nigeria

Stuart Baxter
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Baxter on Thursday named a strong 25-man squad to face Nigeria in their 2019 Afcon qualifier next month

Stuart Baxter has named his first squad since returning as head coach of Bafana Bafana.

Bafana will travel to Uyo to take on Nigeria in their opening match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign on June 10.

Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet returns to the squad for the first time since the 2015 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea.

Mamelodi Sundowns five representatives in the squad, while there four players from Kaizer Chiefs in Itumeleng Khune, Lorenzo Gordinho, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Eric Mathoho. 

Bongani Zungu makes a return to the national team alongside Andile Jali, Keagan Dolly and Kamohelo Mokotjo. 

Aerial strength was the major priority for Baxter as he admits they tried to spread it around the team to put on a good showing against the Super Eagles.

"I'm pleased with the squad we have assembled. We have a small element of development with a couple of young players. We also have some players who are returning to the squad like Zungu and Rantie. We have players who have been outstanding in the PSL the whole season. We also have continuity with a number of players that Safa has invested much time in and we have them in the team. I believe we have a good mix," Baxter told the media.

"We have also looked at aerial strength and tried to spread that well throughout the team. It means if we can have good preparation before we go, then we have a squad that is capable of giving Nigeria a good game," Baxter said.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Ronwen Williams, Darren Keet.

Defenders: Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Eric Mathoho, Lorenzo Gordinho, Abbubaker Mobara, Tebogo Langerman, Sifiso Hlanti.

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Keagan Dolly, Andile Jali, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Dean Furman, Themba Zwane, Bongani Zungu, Aubrey Ngoma.

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Strikers: Sibusiso Vilakazi, Percy Tau, Lebogang Manyama, Tokelo Rantie, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Kermit Erasmus.