Bafana Bafana Coach Stuart Baxter says it was important to get most of the senior players for this weekend’s Four Nations tournament in Zambia. However, he will prioritize development.
Baxter will have two different teams for the two matches they will play in Ndola to ensure he plays every player in the squad.
The FIFA break will be the last before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers resume in September.
Baxter wants to balance the act of broadening and strengthening the team as well as preparing for the qualifiers against Libya.
He brought in a mixture of youth, inexperience and experience for the Four Nations tournament.
Although he plans to use the camp to get information on the unknown players, it’s likely that this is the starting phase of restructuring the senior national team.
Baxter says, “We don’t have a squad here that we are saying this is the future squad. We are saying that this is a principle. We want the senior players to be leaders and the young ones to show ‘I can adapt to international football.'”
Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates Assistant Coach Rhulani Mokwena will no longer be part of Bafana Bafana for the tournament.
Baxter feels that perhaps Safa did not follow the correct procedures to request Pirates to release Mokwena for the camp.
“We didn’t give Pirates greater notice and they felt a little bit that it was sprung on them and that’s understandable because they are in a pressure situation at the moment, but we all agree and the concept is a good one and we want to do it and Rhulani is a good candidate.”
Bafana Bafana will depart for Ndola on Tuesday. They play their first match against Angola on Thursday.
Zambia and Zimbabwe are the other two countries in the tournament.