Kaizer Chiefs’ teenage sensation Mduduzi Shabalala has been named in the South Africa under-23 squad by head coach David Notoane.
Shabalala is currently in Eswatini with SA U20
The youngster scored on his Chiefs debut
SA U23 will face their Togolese counterparts
WHAT HAPPENED: Shabalala has been included in the squad despite having been ignored by Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane.
The 18-year-old scored on his debut for Amakhosi’s first team as they thrashed Maritzburg United 3-0 in a PSL match on August 9.
Since then Shabalala has featured regularly for the club’s reserve team in the DStv Diski Challenge and he is currently in Eswatini with the SA under-20 side competing in the Cosafa U20 Challenge Cup.
The 24-man squad selected by Notoane is set to face Togo in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations under-23 qualifiers later this month.
SA U23 FULL SQUAD:
Lincoln Vyver – Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)
Bontle Molefe – Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
Olwethu Mzimela – Amazulu FC (SA)
Wayne Dortley – Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)
Kamogelo Mahlangu – TS Galaxy FC (SA)
Zuko Mdunyelwa – Chippa Utd FC (SA)
Siyanda Msani – Richards Bay FC (SA)
Khaya Mfecane – Cape Town Spurs FC ( SA)
Keagan Allen – Swallows FC (SA)
Kerwin Peters – All Stars FC (SA)
Thabiso Sesane – All Stars FC (SA)
Jayden Adams – Stellenbosch FC (SA)
Ethan Brooks – AmaZulu FC (SA)
Oswin Andries – Stellenbosch FC (SA)
Sifiso Mbidana – Pretoria Callies FC (SA)
Oswin Appolis – Pretoria Callies FC (SA)
Ashley Cupido – Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)
Antonio Van Wyk – Stellenbosch FC (SA)
Azola Matrose – Chippa FC (SA)
Chumani Butsaka – Cape Town Spurs FC (SA)
Dan Ndlovu – Baroka FC (SA)
Cassius Mailula – Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
Mduduzi Shabalala – Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
Aphelele Teto – TS Galaxy FC (SA)
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The U23 Afcon qualifiers will be an opportunity for Shabalala to show Zwane and the Chiefs technical team that he deserves to be a permanent fixture in the first-team squad.
Shabalala, who spent some time with Belgian side Westerlo on trial earlier this year, has proved his quality in the reserve team this term – scoring goals and producing eye-catching performances.
He has also been one of Amajita’s key players in Eswatini as they look to qualify for the 2023 Afcon U20 finals which will be hosted by Egypt.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR SHABALALA?: The Chiefs reserve team captain and his SA U20 teammates are set to take on Comoros in their final Group C game at the Cosafa U20 Challenge Cup on Wednesday afternoon.
Shabalala helped Amajita thump Namibia 5-2 on Monday and the teenager will now be looking to play a vital role in helping his side overcome Comoros.