Soccer News of Thursday, 4 March 2004
An air of optimism embraced the announcement today of the 18-member national under-23 soccer team that takes on Ghana in their vital Olymic Games qualifier at the HM Pitje Stadium near Pretoria next Saturday.
Safa's chief operations officer Albert Mokoena said: "The fighting spirit which local footballlers have shown in the past when the chips have been down gives us hope that Amagluglug can still spring a surprise.
"We wish Amagluglug the best of luck in this important match and hope that the players will rise to the occassion.
"We would like to thank the PSL clubs for releasing their players, not only for this match, but throughout the teams' qualifying campaign," said Mokoena.
He urged all South Africans to rally behind the Amagluglug through what he described as a difficult assignment.
Mokoena added that he hoped that soccer fans in and around Pretoria would support the feast of football that would be dished out over that weekend.
On Friday (March 12) Banyana-Banyana and Nigeria will clash at Caledonian Stadium.
Amagluglug's coach Kenneth Kubheka made five changes to his 18-member team that lost 2-1 against Zambia in Chingola two weeks ago.
Morgan Gould, Derrick Spencer. Anele Zibi, Gabriel Mofokeng and Thando Mngomeni have been brought in as new blood from the team that played in Zambia.
Zibi, Mofokeng and Mngomeni have played in previous matches, but Gould and Spencer make their debut.
The noticeable absentee is Nasief Morris, the Greece-based defender who will not make it because of club commitmtents in the UEFA Cup.
Amaglugglug goes into a training camp from Hartfield Holdiday Inn on Sunday with training commencing on Monday.
Goalkeepers: Chad Harpur (Manning Rangers) and Jacob Mokhasi (Wits)
Defenders: Morgan Gould (Cosmos), Derrick Spencer (Kaizer Chiefs) Edward Malinga (Pirates), Tsietsi Mahoa (Wits), Sakhile Mahlangu (Arrows)
Midfielders: Gift Leremi (Pirates) Joseph Makhanya (Pirates), Gert Schalkwyk (Wits), Anele Zibi (Ajax CT), Papi Zotwane (Arrows), Gabriel Mofokeng (Swallows)
Strikers: Giovanni Rector (Royal Excelsior), Ryan Botha (FC Inter Turku-Ry) Benedict Vilakazi (Pirates), Mabhuti Khanyeza (Arrows), Thando Mngomeni (SS United).