23 June 2022 – Coach Helman Mkhalele has expressed his satisfaction over the level of quality and competitiveness amongst his 30-man COSAFA Cup provisional squad, adding that he is bound to have a pleasant headache when he announces the final squad on Thursday.
Mkhalele, who will be serving in the head coach capacity role in this Bafana Bafana squad mostly comprising of Under-23 players, stated it was important that they assembled a team that will help South Africa defend their title, while also setting up building blocks for the future senior national men’s team players.
The senior national men’s team is currently camping in Johannesburg and is set to travel to Durban on 10 July 2022, ahead of their quarter-final tie against Mozambique on 13 July.
“I am happy with how our first training session went (on Tuesday) and I’m also happy with both the attitude and the work ethic they gave, given the fact that most of them are just a day or two into their pre-season training with their respective teams,” Mkhalele said. “We will have a few more extra sessions (on Wednesday) before we can make final decisions on the final squad that is to travel with us to Durban.
“Each game we play as Bafana Bafana, we play with the intention of winning it,” Mkhalele added. “We have assembled this young group, mostly comprising of Under-23 players because we are also building for the future. There’s the AFCON qualifiers we need to be ready for in the upcoming few months, and the Under-23 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers we need to start preparing and building towards now and not a few weeks prior, for example.”