Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele has named his 20-man squad for the 2021 COSAFA Cup which includes some of the best young talent in the Premier Soccer League.
Mkhalele will lead the side in the absence of newly-named Bafana coach Hugo Broos.
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma, who performed heroics for the side in their 1-0 win at Wydad Casablanca in the Champions League at the weekend, has got the nod, along with clubmate Happy Mashiane.
Defenders Rushine De Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns), Njabulo Ngcobo (Moroka Swallows) and Keenan Phillips (SuperSport United) have also been included, along with the highly-rated midfielders Goodman Mosele (Baroka) and Sphelele Mkhulise (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Maritzburg United), who netted against Uganda in Bafana’s 3-2 frinedly win last month, has also been named by Mkhalele, along with Kgaogelo Sekgota (Moroka Swallows) and the experienced strike duo of Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates) and Tshegofatso Mabasa (Orlando Pirates).
The COSAFA Cup runs from July 6-18 and and will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay. Bafana have been drawn in Group A along with Lesotho, Eswatini and Botswana.
The competition has a changed format this year in which the 12 teams are in three groups each containing four sides.
The winners of each pool and the best runner-up advance to the semifinals.
Bafana Bafana squad:
Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Sifiso Mlungwana (Golden Arrows)
Defenders: Rushine De Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns), Denwin Farmer (Baroka), Happy Mashiane (Kaizer Chiefs), Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs), Njabulo Ngcobo (Moroka Swallows), Keenan Phillips (SuperSport United), Mashweu Mphahlele (Baroka), Sifiso Ngobeni (Bloemfontein Celtic), Bongani Sam (Orlando Pirates)
Midfielders: Sphelele Mkhulise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy), Siyethemba Sithebe (AmaZulu), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Maritzburg United), Goodman Mosele (Baroka)
Strikers: Kgaogelo Sekgota (Moroka Swallows), Tiklas Thutlwa (Black Leopards), Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates), Tshegofatso Mabasa (Orlando Pirates)