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Igesund: We're in for a tough battle

A 23-man squad was announced for the CHAN tournament which takes place early next year.

A 23-man squad was announced for the CHAN tournament which takes place early next year. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund admits a tough battle lies ahead for his team as they prepare for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in 2014.

The coach announced a 23-man squad for the tournament which takes place in Limpopo, Cape Town and Manguang.

Having being drawn in group A alongside Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique, Igesund admits that his side will need to play their best.

"I think it's a tough group we are in as there is no easy group. We know that Mali are very formidable team, and Nigeria also they are the African champions. Eight or nine of those players, played in the African Cup of Nations and won it. So it's going to be a tough tournament.

Igesund has also targeted the tournament to help improve his team ahead of Afcon 2015.

He says it's important to get deep into the tournament in order to help improve the teams ranking ahead of the draw.

"This is why for so many years in South Africa we've battled to qualify because sometimes planning hasn't been done the way it should be done. And what's important for us is to go and do well in this tournament, win the tournament and boost our FIFA rankings."

The squad for the tournament is without Supersport United and Orlando Pirates players.

Despite their absence, Igesund says that all other PSL teams were helpful in ensuring he gets his best available team.

"I have spoken to all the coaches about this whole thing because as I said before, this wasn't a fight between two people. It was a situation where we we're trying to get to an amicable agreement where everybody can support each other because a national team is of national interest."

FULL SQUAD FOR CHAN:

GOALKEEPERS: Itumeleng Khune, Moeneeb Josephs, Siyabonga Mpontshane.

DEFENDERS: Kwanda Mngonyama, Tefu Mashamaite, Tsepo Gumede, Thabo Nthethe, Tebogo Langerman, Vuyo Mere, Bryce Moon, Buhle Mkhwanazi,Tsepo Masilela.

MIDFIELDERS: Siphiwe TshabalalaHlompho, Kekana, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Lerato Chabangu, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Jabu Shongwe, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Ryan Chapman.

STRIKERS: Bernard Parker, Edward Manqele, Katlego Mashego.