Johannesburg - Benni McCarthy and Katlego Mphela are both in a race to prove
their fitness to Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund as the 2013 Africa
Cup of Nations fast approaches.
According to the football411.com website, Orlando Pirates striker and South Africa's all-time record
goal-scorer McCarthy only recently returned from a groin strain he
sustained while on international duty against Brazil on September.
Mphela, meanwhile, has been given a fresh chance at Mamelodi
Sundowns under new coach Pitso Mosimane, who handed the veteran a rare
start in the PSL, which he grabbed with both hands as he headed home the
winner against Black Leopards on Sunday.
The pair were, however, omitted from Igesund's 24-man squad to
take on Malawi before Christmas, but the Bafana coach insists he has not
forgotten about them, with the 2013 showpiece kicking off in January.
"Benni and Mphela are in a race against time to get themselves
fit but I'm happy that they both played on the weekend," Igesund told Football411.
"There are a few games in the league but I will have a good look
at them and try and help them to get to a good level of fitness."
On the goalkeeping front, Igesund called up Kaizer Chiefs and
Bafana first-choice Itumeleng Khune, Brazilians shot-stopper Wayne
Sandilands and Orlando Pirates back-up Senzo Meyiwa, with competition
between the sticks the order of the day for the coach.
"The goalkeepers that we have selected will compete for their
places. It's a very healthy situation that we have. It will keep
everyone on their toes," he said.
"We have not had many training sessions and I need to see whether these players can do a certain job for me or not."
He concluded: "I think the positive is that a lot of players have put their hands up and said I want to play for Bafana.
"I think the attitude from the players is good. The competition
has become fierce and so we are able to select a team that really wants
to play for us."