Bryce Moon gets second chance

2010-03-02 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG-BORN rightback Bryce Moon and leftback Bradley Carnell have a golden opportunity to come in from the cold and earn themselves a World Cup squad place in tomorrow night’s international friendly between Bafana Bafana and Namibia at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

As the World Cup counter hits 100 days to go today, the scramble for places in the final 24 will intensify, starting with tomorrow night’s game. And while Parreira seemed quite positive about Moon’s chances, he was cooler on the idea of a late recall for another Pietermaritzburg export, Mbulelo Mabizela.

Moon was a member of the squad, but did not play in the Confederations Cup in June, where Siboniso Gaxa was in good form at right back.

The Greece-based defender has not been called up to recent squads. His involvement in a culpable homicide case, in which a woman was killed in a vehicle accident in July, has perhaps not helped his case.

But Moon was a favourite of Parreira’s before the arrival of Joel Santana, who preferred Gaxa. The recall indicates that he might be able to nudge his way back into the squad, and perhaps even the starting line-up.

“We brought them [Carnell and Moon, and defender Bevan Fransman] here to monitor and make decisions,” Parreira said at a press conference in Durban yesterday.

“Bryce has not been with us for a long time, but when I was here he was okay with me. I want to look at Bryce for at least one half and then make my decision.

“It’s the same with Bradley. We have Tshepo [Masilela] who has been in the Confederations Cup. But he has a history of injuries, and we need someone to cover him.

“We have tried other players and Bradley Carnell has not been playing so much, but this year he has played regularly [with FC Hansa Rostock].

“He has experience, he is a good player. The only problem is injuries which affected him for most of last year. That’s why we want to see him play and make a final decision when the big moment comes.”

Parreira was less warm to the idea of a recall for talented but troubled Platinum Stars defender Mabizela, who has had a career littered with disciplinary problems at various clubs.

“People have been expecting so much from this boy for so long. It has been a constant hope that he will recover,” the coach said. “He has had so many opportunities and never used them properly. It’s not a question of technical — I have seen him play and he’s a very good player.

“But will he be consistent for 50 days — a one-month camp and say 20 days’ competition? We will decide later on. The doors are not closed.

“But you can see, Brazil coach Dunga — everyone is pressing for him to include players, and he has been very clear in his message. He wants people who have been with the Brazilian team from the very beginning, and not now one month before the World Cup the player says, ‘Okay, I’m ready’.”

Parreira was asked what his concerns are as Bafana enter their last 100 days of preparations, especially given recent comments by the coaches of Group A opponents France (Raymond Domenech) and Mexico (Javier Aguirre) that they don’t particularly rate the strength of the South African squad.

“There is no one single guy in the world who can forecast this game,” the Bafana coach replied. “That’s the reason why it’s the number one sport in the world, because nobody can forecast the result of a football game.

“So if our opponents think we are not at a high level they have to wait and see, and pay the price at the ground. We are going to be ready for them. Whatever the result, we are going to be ready.

“We respect everybody. We know we would be maybe considered underdogs because of our low ranking. We are the lowest of the teams in the World Cup. That’s okay, our opponents might think we are not going to be difficult for them.

“But I am sure, well-prepared on our home ground, with 90 000 supporters, we are going to give them a good fight. Definitely.”

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