Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Dillon Sheppard has admitted that for the club to have just one player at Bafana Bafana is shameful.
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Only Brandon Petersen, the Chiefs goalkeeper, made the list in Hugo Broos’ preliminary Bafana squad ahead of important Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
This is unheard of and a new low for the Naturena side given their rich history in local football.
In the last Bafana squad, Chiefs had at least five players but they have all since fallen off radar at Bafana.
And Petersen may yet not make the cut when the final squad is announced with both Ronwen Williams and Veli Mothwa in fine form at Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu FC.
Former Chiefs defender Njabulo Blom also made the preliminary team. Blom is now with St Louis City in the US Major League.
Chiefs have been blowing hot and cold this season and players like Ashely Du Preez and Kgaogelo Sekgota have not been consistent.
“We have to work hard to improve our players,” said Sheppard, who filled in for coach Arthur Zwane in media engagements this week.
Sheppard was speaking on the sidelines of the media conference ahead of Chiefs’ Nedbank Cup Last 16 match against Casric Stars.
“Our players can be up there for selection. Yes, we will work harder to make sure that he (Broos) does select our players.
“We are all here for the nation and it is up to the coach to select the players he feels are going to make the nation proud.
“Of course as a coach, I would like to see our players in the national team but the coach has to make the selection and we’ve got to support that,” adde Sheppard.
Sundowns dominate the squad
With 10 players in the preliminary squad, Sundowns have the most. And it is not easy to fault Broos on selecting more from the Chloorkop side.
Sundowns have been dominant and their players have given solid and consistent displays in the DStv Premiership, Nedbank Cup and Caf Champions League.
Chiefs’ Soweto neighbours Orlando Pirates have four players in the squad in Monnapule Saleng, Miguel Timm, Nkosinathi Sibiso and Innocent Maela.
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Bafana host Liberia at Orlando Stadium on March 24 in what is a must win match after a bad start to their qualifying campaign.
The full Bafana Bafana preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Brandon Petersen (Kaizer Chiefs), Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United)
Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyanda Xulu (Turan-Tovuz IK, Azerbaijan), Siyanda Msani (Richards Bay FC), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Orlando Pirates), Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns), Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thapelo Maseko (SuperSport United),
Midfielders: Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns ), Miguel Timm (Orlando Pirates), Njabulo Blom (St Louis City, USA), Grant Magerman (SuperSport United), Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Luke Le Roux (Vargerb Bois, Sweden), Sphephelo Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Sphelele Mkhulise (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Forwards: Monnapule Saleng (Orlando Pirates), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City), Lyle Foster (Westerlo, Belgium), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids, Egypt), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota, USA), Pule Mmodi (Golden Arrows), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Zakhele Lepasa (Orlando Pirates), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt), Cassius Mailula (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kobamelo Kodisang (Moreirense FC, Portugal)