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Africa Cup of Nations

Stuart Baxter announces Bafana Bafana technical team for 2019 Afcon tournament

23:54 EAT 21/05/2019
Stuart Baxter and Shaun Bartlett, Bafana Bafana, 2018
As things stand, Fortune will not be traveling with Bafana to the Afcon tournament but that could change if clubs don't release their staff

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed his technical team that will travel with the squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt next month. 

Surprisingly, both Shaun Bartlett and Quinton Fortune will not form part of the technical team for the continental tournament despite rumours that Baxter was looking to bring in the former Manchester United with him. 

The 66-year-old mentor revealed that he will continue working hand-in-hand with SA U17 coach Molefi Ntseki, who has been part of his technical team for several years now.     

"The technical team... obviously Molefi [Ntseki], who has been outstanding with me. I have to say that sometimes the assistant is there, but not there to you guys, but Molefi has been great for me when we are in camp. We discuss things. He does not just listen and say ‘yes’. We try very much to speak the same language with the players, even though his language is a little bit difficult for me to understand sometimes, but he has been brilliant and he will continue," Baxter confirmed.

Baxter will also tag Josh Smith along as the team's physical coach while Andre Arendse will continue to work with the goalkeepers at the tournament. 

Arendse's inclusion squashes rumours that Baxter intended to have his son, Lee, who works as a goalkeeper coach at Kaizer Chiefs

"We’ve got Josh Smith as the physical coach and Andre Arendse as the goalkeeper coach. Then Thulani [Ngwenya] will be the team doctor and is a credit to his profession and we enjoy having him," added Baxter. 

While Baxter has named his right-hand men for the Afcon tournament, he admitted that he is still hopeful of securing the services of more staff members, although he admitted that certain clubs are reluctant to let them join Bafana Bafana.   

"I would hope that we would get the staff that we want, but I understand the clubs have problems with releasing their staff when they in the beginning of pre-season. I would hope that the desire to want to help Bafana in what is their first major tournament in quite a while would override any sort of personal issues," he said. 

Baxter's Bafana Bafana have been drawn in Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

South Africa will begin their Afcon campaign against Cote d'Ivoire in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.