Khune excluded from Bafana's Afcon squad
Khune’s three-month absence from the game is likely the main reason for the exclusion.
JOHANNESBURG - It is arguably going to be the biggest talking points in South African football for some days to come, Itumeleng Khune has not been included in Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba's 34-man preliminary squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Khune's three-month absence from the game will surely go down as the main reason for exclusion, further emphasising Mashaba's philosophy of using on form players as opposed to big name players.
Khune suffered an injury while on duty for Bafana ahead of the Afcon qualifiers and missed, among others, Kaizer Chief's MTN8 triumph over arch rivals Orlando Pirates, a match which elevated substitute goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo to immediate stardom.
Khuzwayo's brilliance in goals has helped Chiefs remain unbeaten in the league in 17 games, subsequently earning him a place in the Bafana set-up.
Despite dislocating his shoulder, Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie has also been called up to the team, putting him in a race to recover in time for final selection and eventually, the African showpiece.
Bournemouth assistant coach Jason Tindall says they are working to get Rantie ready for the tournament.
"I said to him the other day, we are probably getting him fit now for the African Cup of Nations
"As soon as he gets fit he will probably have to go away, but we are hoping to have him back just after Christmas.
"If we can get him back and get him some game time then that would be great because he was looking really, really sharp before he unfortunately injured his shoulder."
The rest of the 34-man group is as follows:
Darren Keet, Jackson Mabokgwane, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Brilliant Khuzwayo.
Siyabonga Nhlapo, Patrick Phungwayo, Anele Ngcongca, Eric Mathoho, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Kwandakwentsizwa Mngonyama, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Mzikayise Mashaba, Thabo Matlaba.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thulani Serero, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Mandla Masango, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Mondli Cele, Thuso Phala, Bongani Zungu, Asavele Mbekile, Vuyisile Wana, Jabulani Shongwe, Themba Zwane.
Ayanda Patosi, Bernard Parker, Tokelo Rantie, David Zulu, Bongani Ndulula.