Thabo September: Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter selected the best players for 2019 Afcon

On Tuesday, the British tactician announced the 28-man provisional squad ahead of the 2019 Afcon finals

Former SuperSport United defender Thabo September has applauded coach Stuart Baxter for selecting a formidable Bafana Bafana squad ahead of the 2019 Caf African Cup of Nations tournament.

“I don’t think anyone is missing in the squad. It’s a balanced squad. I am fine with the team because the players that have been selected have qualified on their own,” September told Goal.

“It’s been a while since won something and it’s great for the guys to get a chance to redeem the country's pride. I am sure they are hungry to represent the nation,” said the legend.

Kaizer Chiefs full-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele, who struggled with injuries during the 2018/19 season, was selected ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns right-back Thapelo Morena.

“Yeah when you think of playing for a national team, it becomes different from club level. When a coach selects his players, he has an idea of how the players will execute his plan and it’s correct to say Morena had a great season at Sundowns, but the coach feels Rama is the right man for the job,” he added.

“Maybe he feels Rama will suit his plan better because Thapelo has played as a right back and sometimes as a winger and number nine for Sundowns whilst Rama is a right back that can just overlap and he felt he can go with him,” reacted the legend.

“Well, it’s not confirmed who will start as yet, but Thamsanqa (Mkhize) has also done well for Cape Town City and he has grabbed his chance with both hands when included in the squad – it’s all about who the coach has faith in at the end of the day,” he praised.

Maritzburg United playmaker Fortune Makaringe and Orlando Pirates midfielder Ben Motshwari were surprise inclusions in the Bafana squad.

“They deserve to be there and I am sure they will raise their hands when it comes to selection. Both have done well especially Motshwari, he has done tremendously well for Pirates,” continued September.

“We have got all the players you can think of in the squad based on their performances in the PSL. I don’t think we can complain but team selection will definitely cause sleepless nights for the coach,” he responded.

“Sibusiso Vilakazi's return to the Bafana squad is good for a tournament such as this one. His return is good for the team and the rest of the players around him,” he noted.

“A player like Thulani Serero will find inspiration and confidence in having Vila because they have been together in the team for about three years now and it will definitely work for us in terms of combinations,” said the 36-year-old.

“I think our success will depend more on how we do in our group, we just have to do well in the group and we will see what happens in the knockout stages – that is what will determine our success,” he added.

“We have Namibia in the group whom we cannot afford to underestimate, they really shocked everyone because nobody gave them a chance to qualify and they will be a threat. That is why it becomes important to win our first game,” concluded the former Nedbank Cup winner.

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Bafana are in Group D alongside Morocco, Ivory Coast as well as Namibia and Egypt will host the tournament between June 21 and July 19.