Bafana to train in Rustenburg
Bafana Bafana will train at Platinum Stars’ Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex in Rustenburg, North West, for their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville, said coach Shakes Mashaba.
South Africa take on Congo in Pointe-Noir on October 11 before returning to South Africa for the return fixture in Polokwane four days later.
Mashaba said the fact Bafana would be playing on an artificial pitch in Congo prompted management staff to choose Rustenburg for their camp prior to departing on a charted flight to West Africa.
“The venue has got all the facilities. They’ve got one of the best artificial pitches,” Mashaba said after announcing his squad for the back-to-back fixtures.
“We will be able to train on the artificial and on the normal turf.”
Earlier, Ajax Amsterdam playmaker Thulani Serero was included in the Bafana squad to take on Congo-Brazzaville.
Serero missed out on selection in September as Bafana began their qualification campaign with a 3-0 win over Sudan in Khartoum, before they were held by defending champions Nigeria in Cape Town five days later.
Joining Serero in the squad is Orlando Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus, who missed the last squad.
Serero was part of former coach Gordon Igesund’s last two games against Australia and New Zealand, but missed Mashaba’s first squad.
Erasmus, meanwhile, last played for Bafana in November 2013 in an international friendly against Swaziland. He has missed seven national team games since then.
Mashaba kept the core of the squad that took part against Sudan and Nigeria, with 19 of those members present this time around.
Mashaba made seven changes in total. Maritzburg United defender Kwanda Mngonyama, who is on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns, was the big winner in defence, earning a call-up after a stellar last season at Wits while also having made a solid start with the Team of Choice.
Tefu Mashamaite has also been recalled and will link up with Kaizer Chiefs teammate Erick Mathoho.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane is also back in the squad. He and Serero are the only new midfielders, with talented youngster Kamohelo Mokotjo dropping out.
Up front, Erasmus joins the squad having enjoyed a stunning start to the new league season. The former SuperSport United attacker has netted five goals in 10 outings so far.
Mashaba has once again called on members of his under-20 squad and including Santos striker Fagrie Lakay, with whom he worked at junior levels.
South Africa squad:
Goalkeepers: Senzo Meyiwa, Darren Keet, Dumisani Msibi.
Defenders: Anele Ngcongca, Ayabulela Magqwaka, Sibusiso Khumalo, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Kwanda Mngonyama, Erick Mathoho, Thabo Matlaba, Rivaldo Coetzee, Tefu Mashamaite.
Midfielders: Andile Jali, Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Oupa Manyisa, Dean Furman, Thulani Serero, Mandla Masango, Keagan Dolly, Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Strikers: Tokelo Rantie, Bongani Ndulula, Kermit Erasmus, Fagrie Lakay.