Liverpool star seeks Bafana – and gets the nod!

By Razeen Gutta

Liverpool’s Under-15 star Gabriano Shelton has been called up to the preliminary South Africa squad by coach Duncan Crowie ahead of the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 16-year-old, who captains the Reds at youth level, said last year that he wanted to play for Bafana Bafana and not England, his country of birth.

“I want to be given an opportunity to play for South Africa,” Shelton told Metro FM in November. 

“I thought I wanted to play for South Africa after I saw how the players who play for England and who were born in the United Kingdom were treated after missing penalties. My favourite South African team is Orlando Pirates and my favourite player is Percy Tau.” 

The Afcon Under-17 tournament will kick off on 29 April in Algeria, with South Africa in Group B with Nigeria, Morocco and Zambia.

The final Bafana Bafana squad will be announced on 15 April. 

Preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Takalani Mzhawana – Kaizer Chiefs, Gennaro Johnson – Cape Town Spurs, Kyle Jansen – Atlanta United USA

Defenders: Khosa Manyama – Cape Town Spurs, Gabriano Shelton – Liverpool England, Keitumetsi Lesia – Supersport United, Waylon Renecke – Norwich England, Benjamin Wallace – Supersport United, Bonginkosi Phala – Getafe Spain, Vincent Sithole – Mamelodi Sundowns, Tyler Cecero – Stellenbosch, Neo Rapoo – Supersport United, Thato Sibiya – Mamelodi Sundowns

Midfielders: Xolani Tshaka – Orlando Pirates, Sfiso Timba – Kaizer Chiefs, Gomolemo Kekana TS Galaxy, Vicky Mkhawana – Kaizer Chiefs, Aphelele Mkhize – Maritzburg United, Xavier Jodamus – Ubuntu Academy, Thuto Mojanang – Feyenoord Holland, Dhakier Lee – Cape Town Spurs

Forwards: Michael Dokumnu – Vitesse Holland, Orifha Bright – Naubelo Capital City, Bennet Mokoena – Mamelodi Sundowns, Aaron Sloch Rydell – Nordsjaelland Denmark, Gabriel Amato – Cape Town City, Lucas Jetten – Ajax Amsterdam Holland, Tyrese Davids – Supersport United, Ofentse Kgosana – Kaizer Chiefs, Siyabonga Mabena – Mamelodi Sundowns

Pictured above: Gabriano Shelton

Image source: @princesobayeni1

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