Youngsters who also shone at the recent Total U-20 AFCON tournament in Zambia such as Luther Singh and Phakamani Mahlambi are likely to be given their first senior national team debuts against the Angolans.
Singh was the tournament’s top goal scorer with four goals while the tricky Mahlambi has been a revelation for both club (Biidvest Wits) and country since returning from a long term injury.
“It’s an honour for me and Luther to come and play alongside the big names in South African football. For us, this is a motivation as we prepare for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. This is also a learning period where we need to get some experience because we want to win that tournament and not make up the numbers,” said a confident Mahlambi.
While the new coach is expected to be announced after Wednesday’s international friendly, the mood in the Bafana camp is at an all-time high with players wanting to cement their place in the team.
”Everyone wants to be a part of this “new” team. I have been part of a number of Bafana squads but this is a new generation of stars that want to die for the jersey,” says goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
The Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper has been handed back the captain’s armband and is amongst the senior players that will be guiding the youngsters against the Palancas Negras.
Angola landed in East London on last Monday afternoon and will be using Tuesday to fine-tune their preparations in a bid to end the opponents’ dominance over them.
Meanwhile, the Bafana medical staff is working around the clock on the quartet of Eric Mathoho (skin abrasion), Hlatshwayo (ankle), Furman (groin) and Jali (shoulder dislocation) to ensure that they are ready for the clash on Tuesday evening.