Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has named a 25-man squad that includes a new face in Belgium-based striker Lars Veldwijk, a player he has apparently been scouting as far back as when he was handed the national team job two years ago.
“I have been monitoring him since he was playing for Nottingham Forest [in England],” said Mashaba yesterday afternoon while announcing the team that will face Senegal in Bafana’s second 2018 World Cup qualifier next month in Polokwane.
“He is a big boy, strong and can hold the ball. Maybe he can offer us something if he makes the line-up.”
Lars, 25, has since moved to KV Kortrijk in the Belgian Pro League, but has managed just one goal in five appearances for his club this season and has been mostly used as a substitute.
The target man, though, has made the space for his partner Idriss Saadi.
Mashaba is banking on several other new inclusions for victory at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 12 against a tough Senegal side that currently sits top of Group D of the World Cup qualifiers, having beaten Cape Verde 2-0 in Dakar, while Bafana were held to a 1-1 draw by Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou.
Mashaba said next month’s home fixture is a must-win if South Africa are to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
Wits playmaker Daine Klate has also been called-up following several years in the cold. He last featured for the national team in September 2014.