Stuart Baxter, coach of South Africa
Monday Apr 22, 2019. 09:00
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has revealed some of his plans in preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
Bafana Bafana will be returning to the AFCON for the first time since 2015, having successfully come through a challenging qualifying group which included the Seychelles, Nigeria and Libya.
SA have been given a tough draw, being placed in Group D alongside Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia.
“Obviously we were waiting for the draw and now we’re going to negotiate with the clubs to find out exactly when we can get the players released,” said Baxter, as quoted by Kick-Off.
“I think we have to have that negotiation because it’s been a long season and we don’t want to abuse the players, and we certainly don’t want to burn them out so that neither club nor country benefits.
“The question then comes, can we use COSAFA as some sort of a preparation? We know we can’t get our foreign based players, but does it fit, when we’re maybe meeting Namibia or someone else.
“Then we’re planning to have a pre-camp somewhere in the middle east – we’ve been approached by a couple of the middle eastern countries to do that. Nothing is definite, but that was a thought.
“And then we’d drop into Egypt and have our final camp there, with a game against an opponent similar to the one we’re facing in the first game [Ivory Coast].
“So, that would be the rough planning we’ve got for AFCON.”