Ethan Brooks hoping to lead Bafana Bafana's COSAFA Cup title defence

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Ethan Brooks is embracing his status as a senior player in the Bafana Bafana squad ahead of the nation's COSAFA Cup title defence.

Despite his tender age, Ethan Brooks is the most senior player in the Bafana Bafana camp for the 2022 COSAFA Cup after a young squad consisting of U23 players was named by coach Helman Mkhalele last week.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who signed for AmaZulu ahead of the 2022/23 domestic season, boasts 11 senior caps to his name and is hoping to use his experience to help South Africa win back-to-back titles at the regional competition.

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"Last year's tournament was a great experience for me [alongside] guys who were older than me," Brooks told the SAFA media team. "I got to learn a lot from them and from the tournament itself.

"Going into this one, I've got guys my age and it's also going to be a great experience for them as well, learning a lot. We are going to play against guys much bigger and older than us, but it is going to be a great experience for us.

"I think we had a winning mentality last year," he added. "From day one when we walked in, everyone knew what we wanted to achieve and that was wanting to win the tournament.

"I feel like that should be our mandate as well – to go into this tournament and defend our title by winning it."

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Hosts Bafana Bafana will enter the COSAFA Cup at the quarter-final stage of this year's edition of the competition, which is set to commence with the group stage in Durban later this week.

Scroll through the gallery below to see South Africa’s all-time leading goalscorers at the COSAFA Cup