JOHANNESBURG – Clayton Daniels has replaced the injured Rivaldo Coetzee from the Bafana Bafana squad leaving for Praia on Tuesday morning for the first of two back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde on Friday.
This was confirmed by national team coach Stuart Baxter on Monday.
Coetzee suffered a career setback at the weekend when his club Ajax Cape Town revealed that he’d failed a medical, which was the last step in his proposed move to Glasgow Celtic in Scotland.
Celtic found that the defender has “an underlying problem with his right foot” and the deal, which was all but confirmed, collapsed as a result.
SuperSport United centreback Daniels takes his place at Bafana for Friday’s clash (8.30pm kickoff SA time).
“Rivaldo was called up to the national team with the understanding that he had a compromised pre-season (he went AWOL for three weeks because he wanted to leave Ajax),” Baxter explained.
“We knew about the Celtic deal, but we were not sure about his head space. We had included him in the team so we could assess him. But now obviously we are told he has failed a medical, and we had to replace him.
“I can’t say anymore about this because the information I have from Ajax is privileged.”
Baxter said Daniels was the ideal replacement because he would hit the ground running and he was based in South Africa, making the travelling logistics simple.
“When we went to Nigeria (in June for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier), we had development in mind because of the friendly against Zambia a few days later. This time, we want a player that can do the job right now, not in future.
“These are two important World Cup qualifiers and because I have worked with Clayton before, I know it will be an easy adjustment.
“Maybe (Motjeka) Madisha is one for the future, but I don’t think it is ideal to pick him right now,” the coach reasoned.
Bafana are in Group D alongside this week’s opponents Cape Verde, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The home leg will be played in Durban next Tuesday.