As the riddle on who should captain Coach Stuart Baxter’s selection continues ahead of the potential explosive clash with the Super Eagles on Saturday, South African coaches and media organizations are suggesting possible candidates to the coach who is making his ‘second missionary’ journey to the squad.
His predecessor, Ephraim Mashaba, reportedly operated rotational captaincy that saw different players wearing the captain’s band in matches.
Baxter announced a 25-man list about two weeks ago, but was silent on who will captain the team. He reportedly spoke with the coach of South African club side, Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits on possible team composition.
There are three Bidvest Wits players in the selection by Baxter. It is not clear whether he would pick any of the trio as skipper. They were part of South African league title winners. They are: Goalkeeper Darren Keet and defenders Thulani Hlatshwayo and Sifiso Hlanti.
Sports Village Square gathered from Sport24 of South Africa that Hunt has suggested one of his players, Thulani Hlatshwayo as a captain. The defender has reportedly captained South Africa on some occasions.
The publication quoting another medium, Sowetan Live, reported Hunt as saying:
“Well I think if you’re going to go into a new era, new dawn, new feel, and you want to build your team, I mean he (Hlatshwayo) is the perfect guy to build your team around”.
Other possible candidates as suggested by the media are:
Itumeleng Khune –
Khune is the captain of Kaizer Chiefs and has been the most regularly used South African captain over the past few years. He has experience playing in big games both domestically and internationally.
Thulani Hlatshwayo –
Arguably the most in-form defender in South Africa this season, and the man who will lift the Absa Premiership trophy for Bidvest Wits on Saturday. A warrior on the field and a player who has captained Bafana in the past, ‘Tyson’ is someone who will lead by example.
Dean Furman –
As captain of SuperSport United and a player who wears his heart on his sleeve. Furman is also a contender. He’s a fierce competitor in the middle of the park, with experience of having captained clubs in both South Africa and England, also donning the Bafana armband on numerous occasions.
Hlompho Kekana –
As captain of Mamelodi Sundowns. Kekana has proven himself time and again for both club and country, playing a leading role in helping Masandawana to two CAF trophies in the last few months. He’s a player with impeccable work ethic and highly respected by his teammates.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele –
‘Rama’ is no longer the captain of his club side since leaving Sundowns last year, however, he’s been one of the few standout performers for the Amakhosi this season. A proven professional who only appears in the news for the right reasons, Mphahlele could be an option for Baxter. Captained South Africa at youth level.
Andile Jali –
Jali was the last man to captain Bafana as he led them out against Angola in March and his reputation as being a blood and guts kind of midfielder may be the sort of thing Baxter is looking for. Lots of CAF experience with Orlando Pirates and currently playing in Europe.