The Bafana Bafana of South Africa have announced their final 23-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Having amassed seven points from a possible 12 during the AFCON qualifiers, South Africa finished second behind Morocco in their group.
Consequently, Hugo Broos's men have been drawn in Group E of next year's tournament proper where they will face off against Mali, Namibia and Tunisia for a place in the knockout phase.
South Africa recently released a preliminary 50-man squad which featured a host of home-based and international stars ranging from skipper Ronwen Williams of the Mamelodi Sundowns to Burnley's Lyle Foster.
Which players would you cut from Bafana's AFCON squad? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/y3AeFmTtp3
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However, Bafana Bafana head coach Broos has now trimmed down the squad to a list of 23 players for the journey to Ivory Coast in search of a first continental title since 1996.
Bafana Bafana final AFCON squad – who makes the cut?
In addition to the aforementioned 23 players, Ox Mthethwa, Elias Mokwana and Tapelo Xoki have been named on standby in case of any emergency.
Once again, Broos has opted for a vast majority of home-based players with only three of the 23-man shortlist currently plying their trade outside South Africa.
Unsurprisingly, Mamelodi Sundowns are the most represented team with 10 players, six more than Orlando Pirates in second.
Lyle Foster is the most surprising name left out of the Bafana Bafana contingent but Broos has revealed that the striker wrote to the SAFA asking not to be included.
“It was impossible for Lyle to be selected for AFCON – I repeat it was impossible,” Broos said.
“It was a medical decision, Lyle Foster wrote a letter to SAFA requesting he doesn't want to be at AFCON.
“I'm not happy that he's not there, but again this is a medical decision.”
The South African players are scheduled to converge on January 4 for a training camp which will take place at Stellenbosch until January 9.
They then round up their preparation for the 2023 AFCON with a behind-closed-doors friendly against Lesotho at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Having seen their six-game unbeaten streak across all competitions come to an end in their final outing of 2023 against Rwanda, the Bafana Bafana will be keen to kick off the new year on a high.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago