Bafana Bafana squads for Afcon and Cosafa tournaments announced

Bafana Bafana, Stuart Baxter
South Africa has a busy schedule ahead with the Cosafa tournament taking place in Durban this month and the Afcon tournament getting underway in June

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has announced two separate squads for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) as well as the Cosafa tournaments. 

South Africa will again host the regional tournament which gets underway this week before jetting off to Egypt for the start of Afcon in June. 

According to the South African Football Association (Safa), David Notoane will be in charge of the Bafana team at the Cosafa Cup tournament with Stuart Baxter set to prepare for the continental showpiece.  

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Notoane with the assistance of Baxter, selected a relatively young team for the Cosafa Cup tournament, but he also kept the core of the team that played part in the previous editions. 

The squad also includes players who were not regulars for their respective teams this past season; and they include Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto and Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper Reyaad Pieterse, who managed a mere five appearances in all competitions in his first season with the Tshwane-based club. 

Phakamani Mahlambi of Sundowns has also made the cut alongside TS Galaxy striker Zakhele Lepasa. 

Kaizer Chiefs full-back Reeve Frosler and SuperSport United duo of Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule will also be traveling to Durban for the regional tournament.  

He also included a few overseas-based stars such as Keagan Dolly of Montpellier, GD Chaves striker Luther Singh and Liam Jordan, who is on the books of Koge FC in Denmark. 

The decision to include Dolly in the Cosafa Cup squad could help the former Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town man to regain his form before start of the Afcon tournament next month. 

Bafana Bafana squad for the 2019 Cosafa Cup in full: 

Goalkeepers: Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic), Darren Johnson (Ajax Cape Town), Reyaad Pieterse (Mamelodi Sundowns). 

Defenders: Thendo Mukumela (Ajax Cape Town), Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City), Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs), Tercious Malepe (Chippa United), Katlego Mohamme (SuperSport United), Bongani Sam (Bloemfontein Celtic), Sandie Mthethwa (Richards Bay). 

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United), Athenkosi Dlala (SuperSport United), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier), Sipho Mbule (SuperSport United), Kamohelo Mahlatsi (SuperSport United) Grant Margeman (Ajax), Jamie Webber (Supersport) Kgaogelo Sekgota (Vitoria Setubal, (Portugal). 

Strikers: Phakamani Mahlambi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lerato Lepasa (TS Galaxy), Jemondre Dickens (Baroka), Luther Singh (GD Chaves, Portugal), Liam Jordan (Koge FC, Denmark).

Bafana will join the Cosafa Cup tournament at the quarter-final stage, and they will face Botswana in an attempt to reach the semi-finals. 

South Africa hasn't done well in the last three regional tournaments that Baxter has been in charge of, and they will be hoping to do much better this time around. 

Meanwhile. Baxter announced his provisional squad for this year's Afcon tournament.  

As expected, Itumeleng Khune misses out due to injury, but according to Baxter, the medical team will continue to monitor the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper. 

In Khune's absence, Baxter opted for three goalkeepers (Darren Keet, Ronwen Williams, and Bruce Bvuma) which traveled to Tunisia to face Libya in their final match of the Afcon qualifiers. 

The squad comprises of overseas-based players, but the majority of the players in the team are plying their trade in the PSL. 

Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits), Rowen Williams (SuperSport United), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs).

Defenders: Daniel Cardoso (Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Sundowns), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Innocent Maela (Pirates), S’fiso Hlanti (Wits), Buhle Mkhawanazi (Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City).

Midfielders: Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Sundowns), Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Tiyani Mabunda (Sundowns), Thulani Serero (Vitesse), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Themba Zwane (Sundowns), Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg United), Ben Motshwari (Pirates), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier). 

Strikers: Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Royalle St Union), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Lebogang Maboe (Sundowns), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Sundowns), Kermit Erasmus (Cape Town City). 

Furthermore, Nikola Tavares of Crystal Palace, as well as Joel Unteresee of FC Zurich, could be included in the final squad for the Afcon tournament provided they receive their passports in time. 

The two European-based players have been on the radar of Bafana for quite some time now, and it looks like Baxter has managed to convince them to play for their country of birth. 

Bafana will have to trim this squad of 30 players to 23 before June 10, 2018. 

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.