Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos continues to come up against a brick wall.
On Monday afternoon, Broos faced the media with mixed feelings at a press conference in White River, Mpumalanga.
“I am here with mixed feelings because on the one side there is happiness and on the other side disappointment,” said Broos, who was speaking at the team's base at the posh Ingwenyama Conference and Sports Resort.
“The happiness is because, first of all, we are in a fantastic location here where we have our training sessions. Also, everything is very good here and everything is just one step away.
Moments later, however, Broos shared the news that many players selected for the camp are not available because of a painfully long injury list.
“There is a disappointment because we can’t follow the plan," said Broos. " The plan was to play those two matches with the players who were there in September.
"Well, not all of those guys but at least 75% of them but when you see the list of injuries at the moment it is not possible."
As result, there have been many withdrawals from the 30-member preliminary squad for the two friendly international matches against Mozambique and Angola. Broos’ charges face the Mozambicans at Mbombela Stadium, in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Thursday (kick-off is at 8:30pm) and then tackle the Angolans three days later at the same venue on Sunday.
“I’m happy also because we have a camp in November," said Broos. "I said a few months ago that we needed this camp because there is an enormous gap between September and next year March when we have to play Liberia (home and away in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.
"I am also happy that we have these two games.
“There are a lot of players who are not here at the camp. Therefore, there is disappointment because the plan was to play and certainly to start with the same team that played against Sierra Leone. With all these injuries it’s not possible.”
Those on the injury list include Thibang Phete, Innocent Maela, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Mihlali Mayambela, Sphephelo Sithole and Lyle Foster.
"Then we have two guys, Mashego and Percy Tau who don’t play for the moment in their clubs," Broos added.
“Yesterday (Sunday) morning, Foster phoned that he couldn’t be here. So, we had to look for a substitute. I will not give so much comment on that (Foster's withdrawal) but I can say the replacement will be Bathusi Aubaas, the player of TS Galaxy, who will join us today (Monday).”
Aubaas is a defensive midfielder who previously played for Free State Stars. Broos will likely use him in a central defensive role.
Cape Town City have announced that their defender Taariq Fielies has been called up to the national squad for their upcoming international friendlies.