THE three-week Bafana Bafana training camp in Brazil is a perfect opportunity for South African-based players to impress coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.
One such player, Lebohang "Cheese" Mokoena, said they were encouraged by Parreira's statement after their recent camp in Durban that the South African-based players will dominate the final squad for the World Cup.
"We are all excited to be in the team to camp in the country of the total masters of football.
"We are going there to work hard and not on holiday," said Mokoena before a group of 11 Bafana players departed for Brazil yesterday.
"We are determined to do well to be in the historic team for the first World Cup on African soil."
Bafana will play four games in Brazil. Their fourth will be against Botafogo, which is managed by Joel Santana, the man Safa fired as Bafana coach in November last year.
The Brazil-bound Bafana team includes Majimbos and Amajita graduates Daylon Claasen and Kermit Erasmus. Claasen and Erasmus ply their trade in Holland.
Bafana left for Brazil in dribs and drabs after failing to secure seats on one flight for the entire team.
The rest of the group that left yesterday were Matthew Booth, Richard Henyekane, Moeneeb Josephs, Bongani Khumalo, Franklin Cale, Gert Schalkwyk, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Siboniso Gaxa, Thulane Serero and Siyanda Xulu.
Sowetan can reveal that team manager Sipho Nkumane did not travel with the team to Brazil as per the instruction of Safa's bosses.
Safa's finance department was instructed to cancel his flight ticket and accommodation on the grounds that he has to submit a budget for the camp in May.
Nkumane refused to comment on the matter. Nkumane's close friend Thami Tom was retrenched by Safa in November last year. He was personal assistant to former Safa president Molefi Oliphant.