Helman Mkhalele will stand alone on the touchline as a Bafana Bafana ‘head’ coach when they take on Uganda in a friendly international at Orlando Stadium on Thursday.
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Covid-19 has wreaked its havoc with Bafana’s build-up to this match, and this is excluding the fact that new head coach Hugo Broos is back in Belgium getting his second coronavirus vaccine.
That was always planned ahead of this fixture, but it was not anticipated that Percy Tau and Teboho Mokoena would be ruled out of the match after testing positive for Covid-19, or that Sipho Mbule would also have to exit the squad for Covid-related reasons.
Then came the news on Wednesday that Bafana’s new Belgian assistant coach, Cedomir Janevski, had also tested positive for Covid-19 following a second round of testing six days ago.
Mkhalele is thus the last man standing, effectively, to lead Bafana in Orlando, but believes the team will be ready to put out a good performance against the Cranes.
“As a team and personally, we are affected by what happened to him (Janevski),” admitted Mkhalele.
“But on top of that, we are a team that has been in a position where we expected something like this to happen.
“As the coach (Janevski) alluded to in the first press conference (on Monday), we also had more players to serve as back up (to the likes of Tau and Mokoena). We are covered because I have been working with him and I know and am adopting to his philosophy. Myself and the coach have been exchanging knowledged and we have also been in contact with Hugo Broos. So we are disappointed, but we know the challenge ahead and we are ready.”
The match between Bafana and Uganda will kick off at 6pm.