Relebohile Mofokeng in strong Bafana Bafana Cosafa Cup prelim squad

Relebohile Mofokeng made his international debut for Bafana Bafana against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein. Photo: BackpagePix

Relebohile Mofokeng made his international debut for Bafana Bafana against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 16, 2024


PSL clubs have shown a dramatic change in attitude towards the Cosafa Cup competition.

In the past, local sides only offered fringe players or those who hadn’t played for weeks for the Cosafa Cup selection.

As a result, the Cosafa Cup had to draw heavily from the First Division and amateur ranks.

In the last tournament, South Africa fielded a team that included seasoned players but hardly played that season, and they finished in third place

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has excused himself from duty at the Cosafa Cup tournaments, and his assistant Helman Mkhalele will take over the reins.

Last year Mkhalele did not have the required coaching badges and could not occupy the technical area. His place was taken by the Botswana-based Morena Ramoreboli, who was previously roped in as well.

Mkhalele has since acquired the coaching badges and will lead the team on the sidelines, and has selected a 50-man preliminary squad for the Cosafa Cup from June 26-July 7.

It will be the 23rd edition of the annual competition organised by Cosafa, who have yet to name the venue – but the tournament will likely be in Gqeberha.

Mkhalele will trim the squad to a final 23-member squad in the next few days, and it looks like it could be the country’s strongest side in years.

The most exciting prospect is 19-year-old Relebohile Mofokeng, whose meteoric rise as Orlando Pirates’ match-winning attacker allowed him to make his Bafana Bafana debut against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein this week.

He scored the winning goal for the Buccaneers against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final to bring the curtain down on a phenomenal debut season with the first team.

There is also the Sundowns teenage sensation Siyabonga Mabena, who is expected to make the final squad. He and Mofokeng will be big drawcards.

— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) June 14, 2024

The Cosafa Cup draw was conducted on Friday, and hosts Bafana Bafana were pitted against Botswana, Mozambique and Eswatini in Group A.

It will be the seventh consecutive year that the tournament will be hosted in Mzansi.

Bafana Bafana Preliminary Cosafa Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Melusi Buthelezi, Sipho Chaine (both Orlando Pirates), Olwethu Mzimela (AmaZulu), Bruce Bvuma (Chiefs).

Defenders: Zuko Mdunyelwa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabang Matuludi (Polokwane City), Thabiso Monyane, Thabo Sesane (both Pirates), Sergio Kammies, Malebogo Modise (both Chippa United), Deano van Rooyen, Athenkosi Mcaba, Fawaaz Basadien, Thabo Moloisane (all Stellenbosch FC), Khulekani Shezi (Royal AM), Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City FC), Macbeth Mahlangu and Samukelo Kabini (both TS Galaxy), Simphiwe Mcineka (Richards Bay FC), Keegan Allan, Balil Baloyi (both SuperSport United), Rushwin Dortley (Cape Town Spurs), Bradley Cross (Golden Arrows).

Midfielders: Thalente Mbatha (Pirates), Liam Bern, Luvuyo Phewa, Siphesihle Maduna and Chumani Butsaka (all Cape Town Spurs), Brooklyn Poggenpoel (Chippa United), Siphesihle Mkhize (Sekhukhune United), Samkelo Zwane, Mduduzi Shabalala (both Chiefs), Antonio van Wyk (Stellenbosch FC), Puso Dithejane (TS Galaxy), Ethan Brooks, Rowan Human (both AmaZulu).

Forwards: Relebohile Mofokeng (Pirates), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC), Mokibelo Ramabu (Polokwane City FC), Kamogelo Sebelebele, Lehlohonolo Mojela (TS Galaxy), Siyabonga Mabhena, Lesiba Nku (both Sundowns), Asenele Velebayi (Cape Town Spurs), Tshepang Moremi (AmaZulu), Shandré Campbell (SuperSport United), Mfundo Thikazi (Royal AM), Yanele Mbuthuma (Richards Bay FC), Lungelo Nguse (Golden Arrows), Ashley Cupido (Cape Town Spurs).

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