By Katondwaci Marvin
Coach Simon Ngomane has selected the final 23 players for the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) taking place in Sudan from February.
The South African national development team has been in camp since January 11 in preparation for the tournament that will feature only African players that ply their trade in local leagues.
South Africa face Ghana in their first match February 5, followed by Niger four days later, with their final group match on January 13. All matches are scheduled to take place in Hilal, Sudan.
Ngomane says the team is ready to represent the country with pride.
“All these players are very competitive and as the technical team we are very satisfied with the final 23 selected to go and represent the country in Sudan. I believe the boys will do well in the tournament, and I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the players initially selected for the camp on making it this far.
”Three players are on standby in case of injuries or any other unforeseen matters that might arise.
“First of all; these player will remain in our database going forward. Remember that we started what we called Project 40, which simply means that we came into camp with 40 players and we had to work hard trimming the team into these final 23 players submitted to CAF for the tournament. I must say all 40 players we started with have an equal opportunity to make it back into the team in the future,” added Ngomane.
Commenting on South Africa’s first match in the tournament against Ghana, Ngomane says they understand how tough and important the match will be.
“We have always said that we need to see football development in the country and this is the team that is working hard to realize that goal as far as development is concerned. We need to encourage these boys and make them feel that they are proud ambassadors for the country out in Sudan.”
”The players are currently on a short break from camp; they will report back on Friday and leave for Sudan on Saturday.”