Bulk of Bafana to be local

AT least 60percent of the players who will represent South Africa in the World Cup that gets under way on June 11 will be locally based.

AT least 60percent of the players who will represent South Africa in the World Cup that gets under way on June 11 will be locally based.

So impressed is coach Carlos Alberto Parreira with what he has seen at the camp for South African players that he declared yesterday: "Sixty-five to 70 percent of the players selected in this camp will make it to the final squad that will represent South Africa during the World Cup.

"I'm impressed with the majority of them, though they are not in shape due to the long break. But I'm happy that they will be busy with their respective clubs next month."

The coach was speaking at a media briefing in Durban yesterday.

The camp started on Friday and ends on January 28. Bafana will play two friendlies - against Swaziland on Saturday and Zimbabwe next Wednesday.

Parreira mentioned players such as Tsepo Masilela, Teko Modise, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Morgan Gould as having been part of a three-year World Cup preparation programme.

The Brazilian reiterated that the door was still open for other players who deserve to be part of Bafana.

Responding to complaints made by certain coaches, particularly Boebie Solomons of Santos, that Cape Town players were overlooked, Parreira said this was not true.

"We select players according to their performances. We don't look at the team's situation. If the player is doing what we think is good, then that player will be selected."

Parreira sang the praises of in-form Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar. "Also, the fact that Benni McCarthy played for 90 minutes for his team is good news for us."

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