Bafana squad named

BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund expects to have some withdrawals from the 18-man squad he named yesterday for the team’s tour of Australia and New Zealand next month.

Igesund included in-form Mpumalanga Black Aces forward Themba Zwane, but excused Doncaster Rovers stalwart Dean Furman, who may need a groin operation. Ajax Amsterdam forward Thulani Serero, who ended a self-imposed exile in last month’s 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil, has been included.

The coach said question marks remained over FC Rostov defender Siyanda Xulu and Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi, who have been included but may have problems being released.

Bafana’s game against Australia at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Monday, May 26 (11.30am SA time, 7.30pm Australian time) and New Zealand at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland on Friday, May 30 (9.30am SA time, 7.30pm NZ time), do not fall on Fifa international dates.

“It’s not a Fifa weekend so there are few players who are not available from Europe,” Igesund said. “Darren Keet, who is having an operation, Daylon Claasen, and a few others. We would have like to have had Kamohelo Mokotjo, but he picked up an injury on the weekend again [for PEC Zwolle in Holland]. Xulu hopes his club in Russia will release him even though they’re playing games at that time.”

Bafana assemble on May 19 and depart on May 24. The squad is:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Thabo Nthethe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Pretoria University), Tsepo Masilela (Kaizer Chiefs), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Siyanda Xulu (FC Rostov)

Midfielders: Andile Jali (KV Oostende), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Themba Zwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace), Ayanda Patosi (FC Lokeren)

Strikers: Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (AFC Bournemouth)

- Marc Strydom