Bafana squad to face Brazil named
31 August 2012
New Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund Igesund has named a 25-man squad to face Brazil and Mozambique in international friendlies, the first taking place in Sao Paolo on 7 September, and the second at Mbombela Stadium outside Nelspruit on 11 September.
It's the first squad announced by Igesund since his appointment at the end of June and it includes seven new players: Kamohelo Mokotjo, Kgosietsile Ntlhe, Katlego Mashego, Thabo Matlaba, Dean Furman, Dino Ndlovu and Thamsanqa Gabuza.
Four players - Bevan Fransman, Bernard Parker, Kagiso Dikgacoi and Lerato Chabangu - make a return to the national team after a long absence. Goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs has also been included after rescinding his decision to retire from the national team.
Ten of the 25 players called up for the two matches are based overseas.
'The best squad available'
"I have chosen the best squad available based on current form and fitness - the strongest team in my view," Igesund said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"I am also giving other players a chance, so that I know early the type of players we have. It is better to make mistakes now, rectify them, and chart the way forward.
"It does not mean the career of names not on this sheet is over," Igesund said. "My philosophy is that every player should fight for the flag and not take things for granted. In that way we will have a fighting mentality in the national team."
He added: "These are very exciting times for our country, especially with the Africa Cup of Nations tournament and the World Cup qualifiers that are coming up. I believe if everyone pulls in the right direction, we can make it [winning] happen."
The clash with Brazil at the Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paolo takes place on Brazil's Independence Day, and will also be used as part of a symbolic hand-over from the previous to present hosts of the Fifa World Cup.
"The clash with Brazil is going to be very tough," Igesund reckoned, "and we will be using it to see what type of players we have available. This is also the chance to get the best possible squad to represent our country at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament next year, which we are hosting.
"We are going out there to do our best, [and] one thing I am sure of, [is that] this team will play with pride, passion and commitment. Hopefully we can achieve our objectives. The most important thing is that we should not be scared to lose."
Igesund has also called for the country to support the national team as they embark on a new era.
"We cannot do it alone, we need as much support as we can get, we need everyone to rally behind the team," he said.
BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Moneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)
Defenders: Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Bevan Fransman (SuperSport United), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK Thessaloniki, Greece), Eric Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk, Belgium), Punch Masenamela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Feyenoord, The Netherlands), Kgosietsile Ntlhe (Peterborough, England)
Midfielders: Steven Pienaar (Everton FC, England, capt.), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam, The Netherlands), May Mahlangu (Helsingborgs, Sweden), Katlego Mashego (Free State Stars), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Dean Furman (Oldham Athletic, England), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows)
Strikers: Siyabonga Nomvethe (Moroka Swallows), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Thamsanqa Gabuza (Golden Arrows)
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