South Africa national team manager Shakes Mashaba on Tuesday afternoon released his team to face the Super Eagles of Nigeria as well as the national team of Swaziland, Completesportsnigeria.com can report.
In a press conference held on Tuesday and monitored by Completesportsnigeria.com, Mashaba named a 30-man squad for both games which sees the return of star midfielder Thulani Serero, who plies his skills with Dutch side, Ajax FC.
Serero was a key player in the qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, only to miss out on the final selection for the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
The press conference was not devoid of tough-talking and bragging rights from the Bafana Bafana coach who expects a difficult game against the Eagles, probably to be handled by assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi.
“Our main task is to build a new team, a team that will bring results. I know many will say we are playing Swaziland they are weak, but we have to be careful because many countries are regrouping. As we are going to Swaziland we should not forget that any team that plays South Africa wants to win.”
“As for Nigeria we know they are tough, arrogant and you can never be arrogant when you are not confident. So we have to go and compete, not just tactically, but also mentally and physically. Let’s also not forget they might come here spitting fire because we denied them a chance to go to AFCON, so it is going to be a very tough encounter,” the Bafana Bafana coach fired.
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune also makes a return to the Bafana Bafana set-up.
These will be the first matches Mashaba’s men will play since the 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament played in Equatorial Guinea – and Mashaba has kept the bulk of the players who did duty in that event.
The Bafana Bafana will assemble for camp on Sunday night (22 March) in Johannesburg before driving down to Swaziland the next morning (Monday, 23 March).
On Thursday, 26 March they will drive down to the neighbouring Mbombela to continue preparations for the Nigeria clash. The team returns to Johannesburg on Monday, 30 March.
GOALKEEPERS: Jackson MABOKGWANE (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Itumeleng KHUNE (Kaizer Chiefs), Brilliant KHUZWAYO (Kaizer Chiefs)
DEFENDERS: Anele NGCONGCA (Racing Genk FC, Belgium), Siyabonga NHLAPHO (Bidvest Wits), Thabo MATLABA (Orlando Pirates), Thapelo MORENA (Bloemfontein Celtic), Erick MATHOHO (Kaizer Chiefs), Rivaldo COETZEE (Ajax Cape Town), Thulani HLATSHWAYO (Bidvest Wits), Sibusiso Blessing KHUMALO (SuperSport United), Daniel CARDOSO (Free State Stars)
MIDFIELDERS: Lebogang PHIRI (Brondby FC, Denmark), Oupa MANYISA (Orlando Pirates), Andile JALI (KV Oostende FC, Belgium), Dean FURMAN (Doncaster Rovers FC, England), Mandla MASANGO (Kaizer Chiefs), Cole ALEXANDER (Polokwane City), Thuso PHALA (SuperSport United), Jabulani SHONGWE (Bidvest Wits FC), May MAHLANGU (Konyaspor FC, Turkey), Thulani SERERO (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Ayanda PATOSI (Lokeren FC, Belgium), Bongani ZUNGU (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kamohelo MOKOTJO (FC Twente, Netherlands)
STRIKERS: Tokelo Anthony RANTIE (AFC Bournemouth, England), Sibusiso VILAKAZI (Bidvest Wits), Thabo MNYAMANE University of Pretoria), Lehlohonolo MAJORO (Orlando Pirates), Siphelele NTSHANGASE (Black Leopards).