Booth puzzled by Pule and Morena’s Bafana snub

Vincent Pule of Orlando Pirates  (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Vincent Pule of Orlando Pirates (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Former Bafana Bafana defender Matthew Booth said he is surprised by Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s decision to exclude Vincent Pule and Thapelo Morena from his provisional squad.

Baxter will have to trim his squad to 23-man who he will travel with to Egypt to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations in a group where they have been drawn with Morocco, Ivory Coast, and Botswana. With the duo of Morena and Pule not in the provisional squad, indications are that they are not part of Baxter’s plans. Booth wonders why.

“I am very surprised by the exclusions of Vincent Pule and Thapelo Morena, particularly Morena because he is so versatile. He would give a lot teams a lot of options. He plays at right-back, right winger and he has played as a striker,” Booth said on the sidelines of the national finals of the Africa 5’s held in Centurion on Saturday.

“He (Morena) would be perfect for the Afcon scenario because he has played on the continent with Sundowns, so yeah, you’ve got to feel a little sorry for him. I say this to young players that when a coach does not particularly like them, it is no good to remove yourself from the team and play for another team. You have to stick it out and preserve and prove to the coach that you are worthy of your place,” Booth added.

He continued: “I think Morena has the right characteristics to keep on going and focus on club football and he will get his chance. Publicly, Stuart will probably say something about Thapelo but I would love to know privately what his thoughts are about Thapelo and why he is not in the squad.

“But it is actually nice that we are having this debate because there is a good pool of players ad we are debating about who should be in and who shouldn’t.”

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