Parreira announces his 29-man squad for Durban training camp

2010-01-14 00:00

MAMELODI Sundowns’ promising pair of 24-year-old midfielder Matthew Pattison and 18-year-old defender from KwaMashu Siyanda Xulu were rewarded for their club form with a call-up yesterday to Bafana Bafana’s training camp in Durban that begins on Friday.

But there was no room for SuperSport United’s tall target-man Glen Salmon, while defender Mbulelo Mabizela, who has been putting a career back together at Platinum Stars that has been littered with disciplinary problems, was also not included.

Pattison, a Newcastle United youth product who joined Sundowns this season from Norwich City in the English League Championship, is a strongly-built central or wide midfielder, who could add steel to the Bafana midfield. Xulu has impressed with some dynamic displays in the heart of Downs’ defence.

Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira announced his 29-man local-based squad in Johannesburg yesterday just hours after returning from holiday in his native Brazil.

Parreira opted for the skill and pace of Richard Henyekane (Golden Arrows), Thulasizwe Mbuyane (Orlando Pirates) and the erratic but greatly talented Gert Schalkwyk (Pirates) at striker ahead of Salmon. Premier Soccer League top scorer Katlego Mphela, who scored two goals in the Confederations Cup third-placed playoff against Spain in June, was an automatic choice.

There are few other surprises in the squad for a camp that runs until January 28.

Kaizer Chiefs’ dynamic playmaker Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who had solid performances for Bafana in the friendlies against Madagascar in September and Jamaica in November, is among the fringe players who stands a good chance of making the final 24-man squad for the 2010 World Cup.

Pareirra has mostly gone on form and potential and players such as Sundowns’ new signing from Ajax Cape Town, winger Franlin Cale, Ajax youngster Thulani Serero and midfielders Thabo Nthethe and Tlou Segolela from Bloemfontein Celtic will work hard to catch the eye of the national team coaching staff to earn future call-ups. Serero’s national under-20 team-mate, midfielder Andile Jali (Pirates), is another prospect.

Bafana will hold further training camps in Brazil and Germany in March and April, though it is unlikely many of the European-based players will be released for these.

Parreira exhorted South Africa to rise to the occasion for their World Cup Group A, which they open against Mexico on June 11 at Soccer City.

“The whole world will be watching us when we play Mexico in the opening World Cup match on June 11,” the coach said. “We have a tough group, but I am confident we will get through this difficult group and qualify for the next round.

“I want to build a good spirit in the camp and stress to the players that those selected for the World Cup must enjoy the experience.”

Bafana’s other Group A opponents are Uruguay, whom they meet at Loftus on June 16, and France in Bloemfontein on June 22.

Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Emille Baron (SuperSport United), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders: Matthew Booth, Siboniso Gaxa, Innocent Mdlele, Luvhengo Mungomeni, Siyanda Xulu (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould, Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport), Happy Jele, Lucas Thwala (both Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows)

Midfielders: Franklin Cale, Matthew Pattison (both Mamelodi Sundowns), Lance Davids, Thulani Serero (both Ajax Cape Town), Andile Jali, Teko Modise (both Orlando Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Daine Klate (SuperSport United), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (both Kaizer Chiefs), Thabo Nthethe, Tlou Segolela (both Bloemfontein Celtic)

Strikers: Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Gert Schalkwyk (both Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Richard Henyekane (Golden Arrows)

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