The SA U23 squad has been rocked by five withdrawals ahead of the Olympics, due to “various medical reasons”.
However, Sunday newspaper City Press has reported that there have been issues of “ill-discipline” in the ongoing camp in Mpumalanga and one of the players was sent home in “disgrace”.
FARPost picks five players that would be worthy replacements in the squad.
Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy)
The 19-year-old became the first player in the history of TS Galaxy to be capped at senior level, when he starred for Bafana Bafana in the 3-2 win over Uganda in a friendly international last month.
Tipped for a bright future at senior level, Brooks is currently with the Bafana team in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), where they are doing national duty in the Cosafa Cup. But he would certainly be keen to go to the Olympics, where the world would be watching.
Given Msimango (TS Galaxy)
The TS Galaxy skipper played 23 League matches last season, helping ‘The Rockets’ to a respectable ninth place finish in their first season. It’s in fact a surprise that he hasn’t been considered, despite his leadership qualities, while there are players in defence who are from the lower League, GladAfrica Championship.
Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs)
Kaizer Chiefs had asked for the defender to be excluded from the final squad due to their upcoming Caf Champipns League final against Al Ahly next week, but after the withdrawal of some of the key players, the 23-year-old might make a return to the team.
Frosler has played for the national team at all levels and he is considered as the future in the right back position. The defender played 20 DStv Premiership games last season scoring once and assisting another strike for Amakhosi.
Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Maritzburg United)
The striker had an impressive 2020/21 season with Maritzburg United. He played 21 DStv Premiership games scoring three goals and assisting a further two strikes for the Team of Choice.
Hlongwane recently made his senior national team debut and scored as South Africa defeated the Cranes of Uganda 2-1 in an international friendly last month.
Khanyisa Mayo (Richards Bay)
Mayo established himself as the main striker for Glad Africa Championship side Richards Bay and helped them finish in third place on the log standings.
Mayo scored seven goals in 21 league appearances for the Kwa-Zulu Natal-based side. The 22-year-old also scored two brilliant goals as Richards Bay made it to the quarter-final of the Nedbank Cup.
The attacker is no stranger to the national team as he played in the 2015 Fifa U17 World Cup under coach Molefi Ntseki and the 2017 U20 Africa Cup of Nations under coach Thabo Senong.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa and Prince Sobayeni