South Africa U23 coach David Notoane has thrown six names into the hat that could potentially make Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter’s final 23-man squad for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
However, Baxter is now set to narrow his preliminary squad on Sunday, and with several senior players having been ruled out in the run-up to the tournament, there could potentially be space for some of the younger players to sneak into the final squad.
Nonetheless, while Notoane admits that he has not held direct discussions with Baxter, he has given his backing to a few players who raised their hands for a place at the continental showpiece.
“We haven’t really had direct discussions with coach Stuart [Baxter] in terms of possibilities and players who would be joining the Afcon camp. But there are a few boys who have raised their hands,” Notoane told the media.
“Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Grant Margeman, Mondli Mpoto, Luther Singh, Teboho Mokoena and Athenkosi Dlala – so it’s a good headache for myself and coach Stuart to really interact on that. But it depends on his needs,” Notoane revealed.
Bafana have already been dealt several blows with Keagan Dolly having been ruled out of the tournament with injury while Rivaldo Coetzee’s reported failure to communicate his absence in the squad has left him sidelined.
In addition, the foreign-based duo of Joel Untersee and Nikola Tavares both failed to get their paperwork in order and have not been part of the national team’s Afcon preparations.
Notoane suggested that if any of the Cosafa Cup players are to be selected, it will be used more as an opportunity to play a supporting role and gain experience.
South Africa have been drawn in Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.