South Africa have named a youthful squad for the 2019 COSAFA Cup, but have included a number of top overseas-based stars for the tournament in Durban that runs from May 25-June 8.
The majority of the squad are from the country’s Under-23 squad as they prepare for their Africa Under-23 Championship qualifier against Zimbabwe in September, but the likes of France-based Keagan Dolly and Liam Jordan in Denmark have also been included.
They will be coached by Under-23 boss David Notoane, but the squad has been selected in conjunction with senior national team boss Stuart Baxter.
Dolly is working his way back to full fitness after a season on the sidelines and is trying to get back his match sharpness ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
There are also two Portugal-based stars in Kgaogelo Sekgota (Vitoria Setubal) and Luther Singh (Chaves), who will both also be looking to make their mark.
“Keagan Dolly has asked me if he can get more game-time,” Baxter said. “We are allowing him to get that game-time, to bring up his sharpness. We are making a meaningful event of COSAFA and we are investing international game-time into the right players.”
There are a number of other exciting home-based players in the squad, including forward Phakamani Mahlambi (Mamelodi Sundowns), midfielder Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United) and defender Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City).
Goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse (Mamelodi Sundowns) will also take part. He was in goal when an Under-23 selection for South Africa won the 2016 COSAFA Cup in Namibia, beating Botswana 3-2 in the final.
South Africa open their 2019 COSAFA Cup campaign against old foes Botswana on June 2 at the Princess Magogo Stadium.
Goalkeepers: Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic), Darren Johnson (Ajax Cape Town), Reyaad Pieterse (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Defenders: Thendo Mukumela (Ajax Cape Town), Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City), Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs), Tercious Malepe (Chippa United), Katlego Mohamme (SuperSport United), Bongani Sam (Bloemfontein Celtic), Sandie Mthethwa (Richards Bay)
Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Athenkosi Dlala, Sipho Mbule, Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Jamie Webber (all SuperSport United), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Grant Margeman (Ajax Cape Town), Kgaogelo Sekgota (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal).
Strikers: Phakamani Mahlambi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lerato Lepasa (TS Galaxy), Jemondre Dickens (Baroka FC), Luther Singh (Chaves, Portugal), Liam Jordan (Koge, Denmark).