Bright Star in buoyant spirit ahead of AFCON Qualifiers

Bright Star in buoyant spirit ahead of AFCON Qualifiers
Bright Star head coach Stefano Cusin having a pep-talk with his players on their first day of training at Buluk Playground in Juba [Photo: Isaac Buay]

Locally-based Bright Star players were in a euphoric mood on the first day at camp ahead of a busy 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers campaign.

The senior national football team is in the same group as Gambia, Mali, and Congo.

South Sudan will open her qualification campaign with an away fixture against the Gambia on June 4, 2022.

The match will be staged in Senegal owing to the lack of a standard pitch in the host nation.

And just like the Gambia, Bright Stars will be forced to play their home games away, should construction work at Juba stadium drag beyond July.

The 2023 AFCON finals will be staged in Cote d’Ivoire. South Sudan will be hoping to make her debut at the tournament and Coach Stefano Cusin knows that he carries a heavy burden.

“The tournament is not far away. We need to be ready,” noted the tactician.

Cusin is expected to name a- 23-man squad, which will include foreign-based players later this week.

Local-based players are currently shaking off weight. They will be joined by their counterparts in the foreign leagues later next week.

Bright Stars will host Mali on July 9, just four days after returning from Senegal.

The match could be played in Uganda.

They will then travel to Congo for the second away game, on September 19 before hosting the neighbours eight days later.