Pitso to blood youngsters in friendly clashes

Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has announced a 30-man squad to play three international friendly matches between January 5 and January 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 Bidvest Wits; Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns and May Mahlangu who play

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, and 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 kickoff at 3.15pm.

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. Orlando Pirates, Wayne Sandilands, Mamelodi Sundowns
Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse, Belgium); Morgan Gould (Supersport United); Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates); Eric Mathoho (BLoemfontein Celtic); Musa Bilankulu (Lamontville Golden Arrows); Nazeer Allie (Ajax Cape Town); Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk, Belgium); Rudick Gilbert (Free State Stars); Punch Masenamela (Mamelodi Sundowns); Patrick Phungwayo (Bidvest Wits);
MidfieldersDaylon Claassen (Lierse, Belgium); Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs); Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns); Thanduyise Khuboni (Lamontville Golden Arrows); Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates); George Maluleka (Ajax Cape Town); Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns); Daine Klate (Orlando Pirates); Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs); May Mahlangu (Helsingborg, Sweden); Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates); Granwald Scott (Ajax Cape Town); Mzikayise Mashaba (Free State Stars)
Strikers: Lehlohonolo Majoro, Kaizer Chiefs; Bradley Grobler, Goztepe Izmir, Turkey; Katlego Mphela, Mamelodi Sundowns; Siyabonga Nontshinga, Jomo Cosmos; Ryan Chapman, Bidvest Wits

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