The Bafana Bafana goalkeeping position was perhaps the most difficult selection for Stuart Baxter ahead of the announcement of his squad to face Libya in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
With Itumeleng Khune out with an injury, Baxter surprised by including Khune Kaizer Chiefs teammate, Bruce Bvuma. Despite the absence of Khune, the young goalkeeper has not been a regular for his club.
The selection of Bvuma raises questions regarding South Africa’s depth in the goalkeeping department. The young Amakhosi goalkeeper has featured just three times in all competitions this season, but Baxter has justified his selection.
Bvuma is not totally new to the Bafana Bafana set-up. He was part of the team during the COSAFA Cup, and his performances impressed Baxter.
The coach argued that besides having worked with the 23 year-old, it was an opportunity for the youngster to gain further exposure within the team. Baxter also added that he was a suitable candidate to step in should there be issues with the other two keepers.
“The third goalkeeper I feel it’s clear that he has to prepare himself in case something goes wrong and with that sort of mentality that Bruce has shown, I think in many ways, he is the right one.”
Baxter had to also explain the inclusion of French-based Bongani Zungu and Keagan Dolly. Both players have just recently returned to action after long spells on the sidelines due to injury.
“We have been in contact with both of their clubs very closely, the doc sitting over here has been speaking to their medical department and both are clinically fit; they are training in full and they have minutes in the reserve team. Now, I’m not sure that minutes in the reserve team and being clinically fit qualifies you to play in such an important game.”
Newly appointed under 23 coach, David Notoane also announced his provisional team that will embark on its 2020 Olympics qualifying campaign. Most of the players selected have represented the country at junior level.
Notoane says that the selected players understand the team dynamics.
“The team understanding and team dynamics in terms of the players to get to know each other is already nullified. That’s your minus 30% of the challenges in building a new team. They have played together a lot of them. I’m confident that we will negotiate Angola and the winner between to continue the trend within SAFA of national team doing well and qualifying for major tournaments.”
Bafana Bafana squad to play Libya pic.twitter.com/Mwse8i8lUD
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) March 11, 2019