Italy friendly will gauge Bafana

ON A MISSION: Bafana coach Carlos Parreira. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 03/10/07. © Sowetan.
ON A MISSION: Bafana coach Carlos Parreira. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 03/10/07. © Sowetan.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Carlos Alberto Parreira, Bafana Bafana coach, plans to use the friendly against Italy to gauge their readiness for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana in January.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday to announce the Italy-bound team, Parreira said they were looking forward to putting up a five-star performance in Siena.

Parreira said he went for a more experienced team for the October 17 (8.50pm) match to avoid players suffering from stage fright against the world number one.

"It is an important game for us because we are playing against the world champions. The whole world is will be focusing on this game.

"I'm happy with the programme lined-up until the end of the year. We will play the United States (Ellis Park, November 17) and Canada (Durban, November 20.

"There is also the Cosafa Cup final (still to be confirmed). These games will give us an idea of what to expect in Ghana.

"The result is very important, but in the first and second years it's a building process. We want our boys not to be scared (against Italy) because we need a good game.

"With all these players, we've a balanced team to face Italy. I want players who will go out there and play, not defend."

Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana manager, said they will leave for Germany for a training camp on October 10 before proceeding to Italy.

"We will start the camp in Germany from October 11 to 15. Our trip will also include a visit to Adidas (SA soccer national teams' sponsors) head offices."

Mike Ntombela, Adidas soccer manager, said: "It's good for the team's exposure in Germany ahead of the 2010 World Cup that they will be going to our offices too." The team is:

Goalkeepers - Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Calvin Marlin (Mamelodi Sundowns);

Defenders - Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers, England), Bradley Carnell (Karlsruher, Germany), Cyril Nzama (Kaizer Chiefs), Nasief Morris (Panathanaikos, Greece), Vuyo Mere (Sundowns), Bevan Fransman (Moroka Swallows), Brett Evans (Ajax Cape Town);

Midfilders - Benson Mhlongo (Sundowns), MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Golden Arrows), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Bamuza Sono (Jomo Cosmos), Lance Davids (Djurgardens IF, Sweden), Siyabonga Nkosi (Arminia);

Strikers - Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Delron Buckley (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Siyabonga Nomvethe (Aarlborg BK, Denmark), Benni McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers) and Thembinkosi Fanteni (Ajax).