Benni given another benefit of the doubt

2009-11-05 15:01

BENNI McCarthy is back in the Bafana Bafana fold. The off-form

Blackburn Rovers striker in England has been included in the 24-man squad that

will face both Japan and Jamaica on November 14 and 17 respectively.

The two matches will be played at the Port Elizabeth’s Nelson

Mandela Bay Stadium and the Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein.

Also added to the squad are three national Under-20 players Kermit

Erasmus, Darren Keet and Daylon Claasen. These three were part of coach Serame

Letsoaka’s team that did duty at the recent Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.

Ironically, McCarthy’s inclusion coincided with the return of

Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira as the Bafana coach.

Parreira landed this morning at the OR Tambo International Airport

in Ekurhuleni and attended a media conference but was not allowed to address the


However, assistant coach Jairo Leal, who is also Brazilian,

justified McCarthy’s recall, saying with only three official matches to go

before next year’s World Cup, they wanted to have a closer look at the


Leal said they would make a thorough assessment of him before

deciding whether they would keep him in the team for the World Cup or not. “This

is not the World Cup team and we want to see how he can help us. We did not

discard anyone and he has always been part of our plan.”

The team will assemble this afternoon in Johannesburg.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates),

Rowen Fernandez (Armenia Bielefeld, Germany) and Darren Keet (BidVest


Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns),

Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Aaron

Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport), Lucas Thwala

(Pirates) and Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows)

Midfielders: Anele Ngongca (KRC Genk, Belgium),

Daylon Claasen (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe

Tshabalala (both Kaizer Chiefs), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England), Teko Modise

(Pirates), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Elrio van Heerden (Blackburn

Rovers, England), Daine Klate (SuperSport)

Strikers: Bernard Parker (FC Twente,

Netherlands), Katlego Mphela, Mabhuti Khenyeza (both Sundowns), Benni McCarthy

(Rovers), Kermit Erasmus, (Feyenoord, Netherlands)

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