South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has named just two foreign-based players in a 29-man squad that is to spend the next month at a pre-FIFA World Cup™ training camp in Brazil and Germany.
Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Daylon Claasen and Excelsior Rotterdam striker Kermit Erasmus, both part of the FIFA U-20 World Cup squad last year, are the two players who ply their trade abroad to be included, with few surprises amongst the rest of the players on the list. Mamelodi Sundowns (eight) and Orlando Pirates (six) are the most well represented clubs in Parreira's squad.
Former Newcastle United and Norwich City midfielder Matthew Pattison, currently at Sundowns, saw his hopes of a place at the finals dealt a blow as he was axed despite being part of Bafana Bafana's recent set-up. His place instead went to Golden Arrows utility player Thanduyise Khuboni, who was man-of-the-match during last night's lacklustre 1-1 draw against minnows Namibia - a game arranged to mark the start of the 100-day countdown to the finals.
Parreira is convinced that the camp will help the hosts when the tournament kicks off on 11 June. The 1994 FIFA World Cup-winner said: "After Brazil and the camp in Germany next month, we will have a stronger base, be fitter and much better prepared than we were against Namibia where I had one day to work with the squad.
"The camp in Brazil was not easy to organise, but it will lay the foundation for our World Cup preparations. I did the same with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the past and the camps were all successful," he added.
It was also confirmed that South Africa are to play three friendlies prior to the global showpiece. They will meet Paraguay in Asuncion on 31 March at the end of the South American tour, and they follow that up with further games against Argentina at Soccer City on 27 May and Denmark at an unnamed venue on 5 June.
South Africa squad: Emile Baron (Supersport United), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates); Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (Supersport United), Innocent Mdledle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates), Siyanda Xulu (Mamelodi Sundowns); Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns), Daylon Claasen (Ajax Amsterdam, Holland), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Daine Klate (Supersport United), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Thulani Serero (Ajax Cape Town), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs); Kermit Erasmus (Excelsior Rotterdam, Holland), Richard Henyekane (Golden Arrows), Thulasizwe Mbuyane (Orlando Pirates), Lebohang Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Gert Schalkwyk (Orlando Pirates), Tlou Segolela (Bloemfontein Celtic)