BHELE BACK FOR BAFANA BAFANA
Siyabonga Nomvete © Backpagepix
Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has named his squad for the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and Botswana next month.
South Africa host the Ethiopians in Rustenburg on June 3, before travelling to Gaborone to face Botswana on June 9.
Safa have also confirmed that the team will travel to Libreville to play Gabon in a friendly on June 15, which will bring an end to their camp.
As expected, coach Pitso Mosimane recalled veteran forward Siyabonga Nomvete from Moroka Swallows to boost the forward line.
‘Bhele’ has not played for Bafana since the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but his 20 goals in the Absa Premiership this season have left Mosimane with little choice.
This is especially so as Bafana have netted just three times in their last six internationals and have not found a regular partner for leading forward Katlego Mphela.
There is also a first call-up for Orlando Pirates forward Tokelo Rantie, as well as a recall for Santos striker Eleazar Rodgers, who last featured for the national side in a friendly against Malawi in 2008.
But his status as a targetman and his fine performances in a struggling Santos side this season have earned him a place in the squad.
The influence of Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela on the technical team is plain to see with four players from Ea Lla Koto in the squad – defender Ayanda Gcaba, midfielders Katlego Mashego and Mzikayise Mashaba, as well as forward Edward Manqele.
Mosimane has announced an extended squad due to the fact that he will be without Mamelodi Sundowns players for the first week of the camp, and for a friendly against, where the likes of Steven Pienaar and Anele Ngcongca may be rested.
SAFA also announced that Bafana will play an away fixture against Poland on October 12.
Bafana Bafana squad
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Darren Keet (Kortrijk, Belgium)
Defenders: Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Bongani Khumalo (Tottenham Hotspur), Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Punch Masenamela ( Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Kaizer Chiefs), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Club Genk), Tshepo Masilela (Getafe), Eric Mathoho (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Midfielders: Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates, Steven Pienaar (Everton), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), May Mahlangu (Helsingborg IF), Lebohang Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mzikayise Mashaba (Free State Stars)
Strikers: Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam), Tokelo Rantie (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvethe (Moroka Swallows), Eleazar Rodgers (Santos)