Baxter defends leaving Modiba, Phiri out of Afcon squad

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Bafana Bafana head coach, Stuart Baxter has defended his decision to leave out some of the players the nation believes should form part of his 30-man provisional squad that will be going to the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt next month.

One of those omitted is this season’s stand out performer, Lebogang Phiri.

Phiri was fielded in all competitions for his relegated French Ligue 1 team EA Guingamp this season and many believe he deserved a place in the provisional squad.

SuperSport United’s Aubrey Modiba  is another player whose omission has raised eyebrows.

However, Baxter feels he’s made the right decision. He says he’s gone with a team he feels will do the job for him.

After making almost a clean sweep at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards last week, the newly-crowned PSL Footballer of the season, Thembinkosi Lorch is now switching his focus to the Afcon tournament.

Following his heroics at club level this season, Baxter is challenging Lorch to repeat his club form at the Afcon.

When Baxter returned in 2017 for his second stint at Bafana, he was preaching unity in South African football and how this can go a long way to benefiting the national team especially co-operation around players, technical staff, PSL clubs and the players.

While confirming this technical team for the Afcon, Baxter hinted that he’s getting some resistance from the clubs with regards to some of the technical staff members he’s trying to bring on board. Report by Velile Mnyandu