Pablo Franco Martin says AmaZulu players “unlucky” to miss out on AFCON

AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin says a number of players in his team were “unlucky” not to be selected for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

The 34th edition of the biennial football tournament kicks off in the Ivory Coast on 13 January.

Martin has only been at Usuthu for a short time but has been impressed by the quality in his squad.

The Spanish former Cameroon boss felt that for a start, defender Taariq Fielies should have been called up by Bafana, while the likes of Riaan Hanamub will turn out for Namibia.

Fielies was named in the 50-man preliminary squad but was cut from the final 23 for a ‘lack of experience”.

Martin said on iDiski Times: “I think not only Tarra, but I also think 13 or 14 players of our team are unlucky.

“When you see the squad – Sundowns and Pirates players are the ones who are completing the list mostly and when we played against them, we showed that we were not inferior.

“I understand that they are huge players, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want to underestimate them, top players, big players. I would love to coach them as well.

“But I also value the capacity of my players. When my players are playing these big stars, they are performing, they are competing and getting good results against them.”

Bafana are in Group E and take on Mali on 16 January, Namibia on 21 January and Tunisia on 25 January, 2024.