Johannesburg - South Africa coach Pitso Mosimane has handed fresh call-ups to
Musa Bilankulu, Granwald Scott, George Lebese and Siyabonga Nontshinga
for the upcoming clashes against Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.
Bafana host the Ivorians in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on 12
November before visiting neighbours Zimbabwe in Harare three days later.
Captain Steven Pienaar, goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs and midfielder
Kagisho Dikgacoi return from lengthy layoffs, while Tsepo Masilela and
Teko Modise are also back after missing the ill-fated AFCON qualifier
against Sierra Leone.
Mosimane explained the reason behind selecting an enlarged 28-man squad.
"We have two matches that we will be playing; hence we have called up 28 players so we don't overburden some players," he said.
"This is an excellent opportunity to look at other players and
not have just one group. We have some exciting youngsters that have been
doing well in the league and we would like to have a closer look at
them, get them to understand our philosophy."
Mosimane views the two encounters as preparation for the 2013
AFCON on home soil after failing to qualify for next year's showpiece in
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
He said: "For the integrity of the tournament we always try to
get the best teams in honour of Nelson Mandela, hence the number one
team on the continent, Cote D'Ivoire, who will give the tournament the
high-profile stature that it deserves.
"The clash against the Elephants is also aligned to our
preparations for 2013 AFCON because the vision is now different - as we
are hosting, so ideally we would like to play the top-ranked eight
nations on the continent to give ourselves good preparation. We have
great belief that with the strong line-up coming this way, of Cote
D'Ivoire will pose a very strong challenge and that is what we need.
"We are also hoping that Zimbabwe, with the many players based in South Africa, will help us on our way to 2013," he concluded.
Bafana Bafana squad:
Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Defenders: Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Happy Jele
(Orlando Pirates), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse FC, Belgium), Tsepo Masilela
(Getafe, Spain), Bongani Khumalo (Reading FC, England), Anele Ngcongca
(Genk, Belgium), Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Punch Masenamela
(Mamelodi Sundowns), Musa Bilankulu (Golden Arrows), Bevan Fransman
(Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel).
Midfielders: Daylon Claasen (Lierse FC, Belgium), Hlompho
Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Oupa
Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Reneilwe
Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace,
England), Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Granwald Scott (Ajax Cape
Town), George Lebese (Kaizer Chiefs), George Maluleka (Ajax Cape Town),
Steven Pienaar (Tottenham Hotspur, England).
Strikers: Kermit Erasmus (SuperSport United), Siyabonga
Nontshinga (Jomo Cosmos), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns) and Bradley
Grobler (Goztepe, Turkey).