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Mkhalele hails Bafana squad depth

Bafana COSAFA Cup coach Helman Mkhalele has revealed his satisfaction with the squad picked to represent the nation at the COSAFA Cup next month.

The youthful yet experienced Bafana team, consisting of Athenkosi Mcaba, Ethan Brooks and Azola Matrose, will aim to retain the title they won in 2021.

“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 told SAFA media.

The 33-member squad will be trimmed down to 26 as per COSAFA regulations.

“We will have a few more extra sessions (on Wednesday) before we can make final decisions on the final squad to travel with us to Durban. Each game we play as Bafana Bafana, we play with the intention of winning it.”

The 52-year-old says this crop of players is preparing for the future with the Olympics edging closer.

“We have assembled this young group, mostly comprising of Under-23 players, because we are also building for the future. There are 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.”

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