8 March 2010
Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has named a 29-strong squad, including only two overseas-based players, for a World Cup training camp in Brazil. Another camp is scheduled for April in Germany.
Both under-20 players, Kermit Erasmus and Daylon Claasen, starred for South Africa at the Fifa Youth World Cup in 2009, helping the team to reach the round of 16, where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Ghana after extra time.
Thanduyise Khuboni, who was singled out by Parreira for his strong recent performances, was named in the squad at the expense of former Newcastle United midfielder Matthew Pattison, who is currently with Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Pretoria club had more players named in the squad than any other team, with eight. Six players were called up from Orlando Pirates.
Sundowns defender Matthew Booth, who made a good impression during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, was recalled to the national squad.
The camp is an opportunity for Parreira to scout players to strengthen the depth of his squad. No doubt, he has a clear picture of the core of his selection, and that core will include a fair number of foreign-based players.
It will also allow him a chance to mould the team into its own identity. Speaking at a press conference last week, he said that with some other international teams, their style and identity is clear. That, he continued, is something South Africa does not have, but he hopes to instill it.
Parreira added that Bafana Bafana also needed to work at using their speed and skills, because physically they are a small team.
He said that he had previously held similar camps for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates prior to World Cups. All of them, he said, were successful.
Parreira said it had been difficult to organise the camp, as it falls during the Brazilian football season. Nonetheless, Bafana Bafana will face four top clubs on:
- 13 March versus Volta Redonda
- 14 March versus Fluminense
- 17 March versus Cruzeiro
- 20 March versus Botafogo
South Africa will wind up their match schedule on 31 March, when they take on fellow World Cup finalists Paraguay.
Further pre-World Cup internationals have been scheduled against Argentina at Soccer City in Johannesburg on 27 May, and against Denmark on 5 June at a Gauteng venue that has not yet been announced.
BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Emille Baron, Itumeleng Khune, Moneeb Josephs
Defenders: Matthew Booth, Lucas Thwala, Siyanda Xulu, Siyabonga Sangweni, Siboniso Gaxa, Bongani Khumalo, Innocent Mdledle
Teko Modise, Surprise Moriri, Gert Schalkwyk, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Thanduyise Khuboni, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Lance Davids, Lebohang Mokoena, Tlou Segolela, Kermit Erasmus, Daine Klate, Andile Jali, Franklin Cale, Daylon Claasens, Thulasizwe Mbunyane, Thabo Nthethe
Strikers: Richard Henyekane, Katlego Mphela, Thulani Serero
Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material