Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is confident that the national team will make the nation proud at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

The Englishman said it when the team assembled for the first time for the AFCON at Steyn City School in Johannesburg.

Various SA national teams disappointed this weekend including the Cricket national team, Bafana team coached by David Notoane in the COSAFA Cup, the Under-20 national team and Banyana Banyana.

All the players reported to camp except for the injured Keagan Dolly, who was withdrawn ahead of the Bafana’s COSAFA’s cup quarter-final match against Botswana on Sunday.  Dutch based striker Lars Veldwijk arrived in the morning and sat out the training session. Baxter says Dolly will be going for a scan on Monday.

Baxter also confirmed that Swiss-based defender Joel Untersee and Crystal Palace’s Nikola Tavares will not be part of the squad for AFCON. He says the delay in paperwork has ruled them out.

AFCON will be staged in June/July for the first time since it was moved from the January/February period. Players will not get a rest and Baxter says players must be professional to deal with a heavy schedule.

Notoane’s team lost to Botswana 5-4 on penalties after the two teams drew 2-2 in regulation time. Bafana were leading 2-0 after 28 minutes, but Botswana scored in the 61st and in the 93rd minute to take the match into penalties.

Baxter was philosophical about the loss, and disappointed they did not close the game.

Men Under-20 national team were knocked out of the FIFA Under-20 world Cup after they suffered two defeats against Korea and Argentina, and drawn one match. Baxter is hoping they learnt valuable lessons. – Report by Vincent Sitsula