South Africa's newly re-appointed coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira dropped the first hint of his intentions to rehabilitate the South African senior football side when he recalled the country's prodigal genius, Benni McCarthy in his squad at his first press conference in Johannesburg.
McCarthy was dropped from the squad that played in the FIFA Confederations Cup after he fell-out with then coach, Joel Santana following a snub to a call-up to face Norway in a friendly international in Rustenburg.
Santana, who reached an ‘amicable' agreement to step down as South Africa coach following a spate of inauspicious results, was replaced by Parreira. The recent call-up re-ignites what has been a fractious relationship between the Blackburn Rovers striker and his country of birth.
McCarthy will then be expected to lead South Africa in Nelson Mandela Bay/ Port Elizabeth against Japan on Saturday 14 November in a friendly international against FIFA World Cup-bound Japan. Explaining McCarthy's call-up, Parreira's second-in-command, Jairo Leal said: "We believe that it was time to bring him (McCarthy) back. He is still the country's top goal scorer and we want to see if we can still count on him. The ball is in his court."
Part of Parreira's new surprise inclusions were young trio - promising striker, Kermit Erasmus, innovative Daylon Klassen who plays for Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam and young Wits University keeper, Darren Keet.
Parreira arrived in South Africa today to resume his second tenure of a side he left more than 18 months ago. Memories of his last match in charge are still vivid in many South Africans as the Brazilian ended on a high beating the highly-rated and organised Paraguay 3-0.
However, he arrives at a time when South Africa are languishing at the bottom of the ladder and need inspiration and purpose to craft their way back to the top before the Rainbow Nation's biggest moment in sporting history when they host the FIFA World Cup™ next year.
Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Darren Keet (BidVest Wits).
Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo, Morgan Gould (both SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Anele Ngcongca (Genk FC), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Pirates).
Daylon Classen (Ajax Amsterdam, Holland), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England), Daine Klate (SuperSport), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (both Kaizer Chiefs), Teko Modise (Pirates), Macbeth Sibaya (Ruban Kazan, Russia), Elrio van Heerden (Blackburn Rovers, England).
Kermit Erasmus (SBV Excelsior Rotterdam, Holland), Mabhuti Khenyeza, Katlego Mphela (both Sundowns), Benni McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers, England), Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Holland).