Pretoria - Kaizer Chiefs sensational midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala is to captain Bafana Bafana on their May 14 international friendly match against Tanzania, national team coach, Pitso Mosimane announced today.
Tshabalala replaces English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur player, Steven Pienaar. Mosimane said Tshabalala's assistant will be announced later in the week.
Mosimane announced his 22-man squad to face Tanzania in an international friendly match to be played at the National Stadium in Dar-es-Salam on Saturday.
The kick-off of the match which is being used by both teams to prepare for the crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers is at 7pm in Tanzanian time and 6pm in South African time.
Bafana will play Egypt in the first week of June in a crucial AFCON qualifier match, while Tanzania will travel to Central Africa.
Included on Mosimane's team is Bloemfontein Celtic no nonsense defender, Eric Mulomo wa Ndau Mathoho, Bidvest Wits defender, Tefu Mashamaite, Amazulu striker Lehlohonolo Majoro and Santos midfielder Erwin Isaacs.
Although Tanzania is the weakest opponents, but Mosimane said this is the perfect match to give South Africa the momentum before facing Egypt away.
"We would have loved to face a North African opposition but since this is not a FIFA date it has proved difficult so we are happy with what we have.
"Playing away will help us a lot and give us the same stress and pressure of playing in Cairo because we know that the National Stadium of Tanzania will be full with spectators. So this is a good exercise," he said.
Tanzania has called up some of their overseas-based players for this clash while Bafana will only have Bernard Parker, but coach Mosimane is not perturbed.
"It's good they will have those players, this will give most of our young player's invaluable experience.
"We have called up players who are doing well in their clubs and the message is to give hope and encourage players in the PSL that they can play for Bafana anytime.
"We have also kept the core of the local-based players, so the key word is continuity and our philosophy is to create competition in the team," he said.
Bafana started with their camp on Monday at the Royal Marang Sports Compelx in Phokeng (Rustenburg) and they will return to Johannesburg on Thursday en route to Tanzania.
The selected players are goalkeepers, Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands. Defenders Morgan Gould, Siyanda Xulu, Eric Mathoho, Mzivukile Tom, Prince Hlela, Siyabonga Sangweni, Tefu Mashamaite and Siyanda Zwane.
Midfielders are Hlompho Kekana, Thanduyise Khuboni, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Thabo Matlaba, Erwin Isaacs, Simphiwe Tshabalala, and Sifiso Myeni.
Strikers are Bernard Parker, Vuyisile Wana, Lehlohonolo Majoro, and Katlego Mphela.