Bafana Bafana

Bafana coach picks Pienaar

2011-11-03 12:29
Steven Pienaar (Gallo)

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).

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