Keagan Dolly will be a key part of Bafana Bafana’s campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations, but the former Sundowns star will get a chance to get match-sharp before that.
Dolly was a surprise inclusion in the South African squad for the Cosafa Cup, where the hosts will face Botswana in the quarter-finals in Durban on 2 June (3pm kickoff).
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will be hoping that the Cosafa Cup team can go all the way to the final on 8 June, in order to give Dolly a high level of football before he rejoins the Afcon squad.
Dolly hasn’t seen much action for his French club Montpellier this season after sustaining a broken leg, and then battling in his recovery as well.
But now he is fit to play again.
“It’s a joint-venture project where we find a balance between our preparation and Bafana Bafana’s preparation for Afcon,” SA Cosafa coach David Notoane said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Keagan Dolly, we know his challenges with injury throughout the season. So, when we discussed it with the coach, we agreed (that) let’s afford him the opportunity to get more game time after having overcome his injury challenges.
“He is back to full fitness at his club, so we are happy to help Bafana Bafana in terms of the bigger picture, which is Afcon preparation for coach Stuart Baxter.”
The Cosafa squad includes a few established top-flight players such as goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse, Teboho Mokoena and Phakamani Mahlambi, while TS Galaxy hero Zakhele Lepasa also made the cut.
SA Cosafa Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Mondli Mpoto, Darren Johnson, Reyaad Pieterse
Defenders: Thendo Mukumela, Keanu Cupido, Reeve Frosler, Tercious Malepe, Katlego Mohamme, Bongani Sam, Sandile Mthethwa
Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Athenkosi Dlala, Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Grant Magerman, Keagan Dolly, Sipho Mbule, Jamie Webber, Kgaogelo Sekgota
Strikers: Phakamani Mahlambi, Luther Singh, Liam Jordan, Zakhele Lepasa, Jemondre Dickens@ashfakmohamed