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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 18:02 GMT
SA look to the future
Mark Gleeson
Football Correspondent

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter
Baxter is building a team for 2010
South Africa departed for Mauritius on Thursday for their Cosafa Cup assignment with an 18-man squad tipped to form the nucleus of their 2010 World Cup squad.

Forced by club commitments to do without his regular squad, coach Stuart Baxter is using the opportunity to parade a bevy of young stars as he seeks to begin building a team for the future.

South Africa play the Seychelles in the first of Saturday's semi-final matches at the mini-tournament.

If they win, they will be in action 24 hours later against the winners of the other semi-final between Madagascar and Mauritius.

The squad includes three players who are being hailed as the country's potential future stars, among them Thando Mngomeni, whose brother Thabo is a former Bafana Bafana captain.

Mngomeni plays for Swedish side Helsingborg and has also played in World Cup qualifiers for Bafana Bafana.

Also travelling is 1860 Munich midfielder Lance Davids and Katlego Mphela, the 19-year-old striker from Racing Strasbourg in France.

But Jeffrey Ntuka, the teenager at Westerlo in Belgium was forced to withdraw before the team's departure after suffering an injury in training this week.

He was on the pitch for just a few minutes at the team's opening training session in Johannesburg when he suffered an likely to keep him our of action for at least two weeks.

Also called up is Sandile Ndlovu, the giant striker who made his international debut against Australia last month.

Goalkeeper Brian Baloyi returns to captain the side and Mbulelo Mabizela, dismissed by Tottenham Hotspour last October, is given a chance to revive his international career again even though he has failed to find a new club.

But the rest of the squad is a made up of young prospects whose international credentials are far from established.

"We've had to make do with what we can get at this stage but at least we have stuck to a policy of picking potential Bafana Bafana players of the future," said Baxter.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Brain Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Tladi Mathibe (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders: Robyn Johannes (University of Pretoria), Mbulelo Mabizela (unattached), Lefa Mogaila (Silver Stars), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates), Lucas Tlhomelang (Bloemfontein Celtic)

Midfielders: Lance Davids (1860 Munich, Germany), Rowen Hendricks (FC Rostov, Russia), Junior Khanye (Kaizer Chiefs), Reagan Noble (Wits University), Siyabonga Siphika (Manning Rangers), Cyril Zuma (Maritzburg United)

Forwards: Lerato Chabungu, Rudi Issacs (both University of Pretoria), Thando Mngomeni (Helsingborg, Sweden), Katlego Mphela (Racing Strasbourg, France), Sandile Ndlovu (Dynamos)


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