Bafana Bafana coach names Confeds Cup squad

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana has named his 30-man provisional squad which will represent South Africa in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The squad, which will start training at Milpark on 13 May, will be trimmed to a 23-man team before 4 June when the Confederations Cup kicks off. The team will have a few practice games before playing an international friendly match with Poland on 6 June.

Mr Santana has surprisingly dropped Bafana star Benny McCarthy. The England-based striker and Blackburn Rovers star, Mr McCarthy was also not available in recent friendly matches against Norway and Portugal due to injury.

In picking his team, he has beefed up his striking force with Bernard Parker, Israel-base Thembinkosi Fanteni, Orlando Pirates striker Katlego Mashego, Mamelodi Sundowns's Katlego Mphela and Mabuti Khanyeza of Ajax Cape Town.

Coach Santana has also called on the experienced Sundowns goalkeeper, Brian Baloyi and Germany-based international goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez, to be part of the team to ensure that his goalkeeping department is well balanced.

South Africa will play its opening Group A game with Asian Champions, Iraq on 14 June at the Coca Cola Park in Johannesburg before clashing with New Zealand on 17 June in Rustenburg.

The tough competitors will be European Champions and star-dominated Spain to be played on 20 June in Bloemfontein.

The tournament's Group B comprises of Champions of South America Brazil, World Champions Italy, African Champions Egypt and CONCACAF Gold Cup winners, United States of America.

The South African provisional squad includes:

Goalkeepers:
Brian Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates) and Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders:
Matthew Booth (Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (Supersport United)
Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Innocent Mdledle (Pirates) Lucas Thwala (Pirates), Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers, England), Bryce Moon (Panathinaikos, Greece) and Nasief Morris (Recreativo de Huela, Spain)

Midfielders:
Lance Davids (SuperSport), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Golden Arrows), Benson Mhlongo (Pirates) , Teko Modise (Pirates), Surprise Moriri (Sundowns), Masilo Modubi (Westerlo, Belgium), Siyabonga Nkosi (Maccabi Netanya, Israel), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs) and Elrio van Heerden (Club Brugge, Belgium)

Strikers:
Thembinkosi Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Mabhuti Khenyeza (Ajax Cape Town), Katlego Mashego (Pirates) and Katlego Mphela (Sundowns)

The national team will play training games against a PSL First Division side on 23 May and another practice game against Mauritius on 30 May before taking on Poland on 6 June in an international friendly.

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