Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has announced a 30-man squad to play three international friendly matches between January 5 and 15.
There are seven new faces in the squad - Alie Nazeer of Ajax Cape Town; Rudick Gilbert and Mzikayise Mashaba, both of Free State Stars; Patrick Phungwayo and Ryan Chapman, both from Wits; Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns and May Mahlangu who plays in Sweden.
Mahlangu is one of five overseas-based players in the squad. The others are Siboniso Gaxa, Anele Ngcongca, Daylon Claasen, who all play in Belgium, as well as Turkey-based Bradley Grobler.
Daine Klate of Orlando Pirates makes a return after a long absence. Itumeleng Khune was not considered because he is still recovering from injury.
"I have invited some players so I can have a closer look at them. I also want to reward those who did well this year. For us this is the start of preparations for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament which we will host," said Mosimane.
"This is a training camp for us where we will be trying various combinations. Unfortunately we won't have some of the overseas-based players, but again it's a blessing in disguise in that we will be able to see more players. I am positive the three upcoming matches will help in that regard," said Mosimane.
First up is Equatorial Guinea. The match will take place in the capital Malabo on Thursday, January 5 to mark the opening of one of the match venues for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The second clash is against Zambia on Wednesday, January 11 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Tshwane. Kickoff is at 8pm.
In the third friendly international South Africa will lock horns with Ghana on Sunday, January 15 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng, just outside Rustenburg. The match will kick-off at 15:15.
Both the home matches are also to help Ghana and Zambia to prepare for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Tickets will cost R50 for each match, and will be available at Computicket outlets, Shoprite and Shoprite/Checkers stores around the country.
Bafana Bafana will assemble for camp on Monday, January 2, at the OR Tambo International Airport Southern Sun Hotel. They depart for Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday, January 3 and return to South Africa on Friday, January 6.
Bafana Bafana training squad:Goalkeepers:
Moneeb Josephs, Wayne Sandilands
Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Sangweni, Eric Mathoho, Musa Bilankulu, Nazeer Allie, Anele Ngcongca, Rudick Gilbert, Punch Masenamela, Patrick Phungwayo
Daylon Claassen, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Themba Zwane, Thanduyise Khuboni, Andile Jali, George Maluleka, Teko Modise, Daine Klate, Siphiwe Tshabalala, May Mahlangu, Oupa Manyisa, Granwald Scott, Mzikayise Mashaba
Lehlohonolo Majoro, Bradley Grobler, Katlego Mphela, Siyabonga Nontshinga, Ryan Chapman