Bafana Bafana announce COSAFA Cup 50-man preliminary squad

Bafana Bafana have announced the 50-man preliminary squad for the upcoming COSAFA Cup that will be held in South Africa later this month.

The host nation, South Africa, learned its opponents earlier today in a draw that took place on Friday morning. The draw,streamed live on COSAFA's social media platforms, pitted Bafana against Mozambique, Eswatini, and Botswana in the group stages.

The tournament will run from 26 June to 7 July.

Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele will be in charge of the team. Last year, he didn’t have the required qualifications to sit on the bench which led SAFA to appoint Morena Ramoreboli.

Meanwhile, Hugo Broos’ contract stipulates that he will skip COSAFA Cup, leaving his assistant with the task of guiding the team.

Mkhalele's team is dominated by young players who impressed in the recently concluded PSL season. The 50-man roster is expected to be trimmed down in the coming days.

BAFANA BAFANA 50-MAN PRELIMINARY SQUAD FOR 2024 COSAFA CUP

Goalkeepers

Melusi Buthelezi (Orlando Pirates), Sipho Chaine (Orlando Pirates), Olwethu Mzimela (AmaZulu FC), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders

Zuki Mdunyelwa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabang Matuludi (Polokwane City), Thabiso Monyane (Orlando Pirates), Sergio Kammies (Chippa United), Dean Van Rooyen (Stellenbosch FC), Khulekani Shezi (Royal AM), Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City), Thabo Moloisane (Stellenbosch FC), Macbeth Mahlangu (TS Galaxy), Simphiwe Mcineka (Richards Bay FC), Keagan Allan (SuperSport United), Rushwin Dortley (Cape Town Spurs), Thabiso Sesane (Orlando Pirates), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch FC), Bilal Baloyi (SuperSport United), Malebogo Modise (Chippa United), Bradley Cross (Golden Arrows), Samukelo Kabini (TS Galaxy), Fawaaz Basadien (Stellenbosch FC)

Midfielders

Thalente Mbatha (Orlando Pirates), Liam Bern (Cape Town Spurs), Brooklyn Poggenpoel (Chippa United), Siphesihle Mkhize (Sekhukhune United), Samkelo Zwane (Kaizer Chiefs), Chumani Butsaka (Cape Town Spurs), Antonio Van Wyk (Stellenbosch FC), Mduduzi Shabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Puso Dithejane (TS Galaxy), Luvuyo Phewa (Cape Town Spurs), Siphesihle Maduna (Cape Town Spurs), Ethan Brooks (AmaZulu FC), Rowan Human (AmaZulu FC), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC)

Forwards

Mokibelo Ramabu (Polokwane City), Kamogelo Sebelebele (TS Galaxy), Siyabonga Mabena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Asanele Velebayi (Cape Town Spurs), Lesiba Nku (Mamelodi Sundowns), Tshepang Moremi (AmaZulu FC), Miguel Campbell (SuperSport United), Mfundo Thikazi (Royal AM), Ashley Cupido (Cape Town Spurs), Lehlohonolo Mojela (TS Galaxy), Yanela Mbuthuma (Richards Bay FC), Lungelo Nguse (Golden Arrows) 

Bafana Bafana set their sights on the trophy this year after claiming the bronze medal in the 2023 edition with a penalty shootout victory over Malawi. Zambia are the reigning champions, having edged Lesotho 1-0 in the final.

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.