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MBABANE – This will be music to the ears of Sihlangu supporters.

Sihlangu Head Coach Dominic Kunene has reportedly called up Mbabane Highlanders’ Khanyakwezwe Shabalala and Mbabane Swallows’ Sandanezwe Mathabela ahead of the COSAFA Cup, which will take place in South Africa. The return of the two experienced goalkeepers will be welcomed with joy after supporters in social media mainly Facebook were left unimpressed with the snub of the goalkeepers, mostly Inkunzi emnyama’s Khanyakwezwe who they believed should be in goals after conceding the least number of goals in the recently concluded MTN Premier League season.

COSAFA denotes the Council of Southern Africa Football Association. EFA through a memo sent to the Premier league of Eswatini (PLE), requested for the release of 25 players for the regional flagship football tournament billed for Durban, SA. The competition is scheduled to start on July 5-16 next month. According to the EFA memo, the Dominic Kunene-coached outfit started full-time camp at the Lobamba Technical Centre on Thursday. The players will only be released back to their respective teams after the conclusion of the COSAFA Cup on July 17, 2023.

The 2022/23 MTN Premier League champions Green Mamba dominate the squad with six players with the likes of Royal Leopard and Young Buffaloes contributing five players apiece. Meanwhile, Sihlangu will be looking to redeem themselves with the COSAFA Cup as their dream of making their maiden appearance in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals were shattered, after suffering a 0-2 defeat to Togo in a home game played at Mbombela Stadium this past Sunday.

Sihlangu have been pitted in Group A with South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Botswana’ Zebras and Namibia’s Brave Warriors. They will begin their COSAFA journey against Botswana on July 5, 2023 at the King Zwelithini Stadium. Meanwhile, Sihlangu Coach Dominic Kunene could not be drawn for comment after his cellphone rang unanswered.