Baxter announces Bafana squad
New Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has named his 25-man squad to face Nigeria in the opening match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The clash takes place on Saturday, 10 June 2017 at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo State, Nigeria.
Kickoff is at 17h00.
Baxter has kept a good number of players that did duty against Guinea-Bissau and Angola in back-to-back friendly international matches in March.
Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, Bongani Zungu and Tokelo Rantie make a welcome return to the national team.
Aubrey Ngoma of Cape Town City has also been called up.
“I am quite pleased with the squad we have assembled. We have a small element of development with a couple of young players. We also have some players who are returning to the squad, the likes of Zungu and Rantie.
“We have players who have been outstanding in the PSL the whole season, we also have continuity with a number of players that SAFA has invested much time in and we have them in the team. I believe we have a good mix,” said Baxter.
“We have also looked at aerial strength and tried to spread that well throughout the team, it means if we can have good preparation before we go, then we have a squad that is capable of giving Nigeria a good game,” said Baxter.
South Africa has met Nigeria 12 times, with the West Africans emerging victorious on seven occasions with four matches drawn.
Bafana Bafana’s only win against the Super Eagles came under the reign of Baxter – it was an international friendly match in 2004 played at Ellis Park. Shaun Bartlett and Benedict Vilakazi scored the goals.
“When you look at Nigeria it’s like the who’s who of African football as most of their players play across the top leagues of the world, that doesn’t always mean it’s a good team but Nigeria has had a run of games that suggests that they are finding their feet.
“We will play them having spent a three-week training camp in France but we will monitor their games. They will be playing against Togo and Corsica, and I will have a bit of intelligence on them, but I have already gathered some even before these matches,” added Baxter.
Baxer’s men assemble for camp on Sunday, 4 June 2017.
There will be two training sessions on Monday and Tuesday, before the team jets off on Wednesday, 7 June to Uyo State via Lagos.
Bafana Bafana are expected back in the country on Monday, 12 June.
Their next AFCON fixture will be away to Libya in March next year.
South Africa vs Nigeria:
Saturday, 10 June 2017
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium
17h00 (16h00 SA Time)
2019 AFCON FIXTURES
24 March 2018 8 September 2018
BAFANA BAFANA vs Libya BAFANA BAFANA vs Seychelles
11 September 2018 8 October 2018
Seychelles vs BAFANA BAFANA BAFANA BAFANA vs Nigeria
time/venue TBC 15h00
9/10/11 November 2018
Libya vs BAFANA BAFANA
BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD TO FACE NIGERIA