coach in europe mission

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to secure the release of the majority of his Europe-based players for the camps in Brazil and Germany.

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to secure the release of the majority of his Europe-based players for the camps in Brazil and Germany.

Parreira arrived in England yesterday, where he hoped to secure the release of Steven Pienaar, Aaron Mokoena, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Benni McCarthy.

He landed in London with team manager Sipho Nkumane and physical trainer Francisco Gonzalez. They will be in Europe until next week.

Other Europe-based players targeted by Parreira include Nasief Morris, Elrio van Heerden, Rowen Fernandez, Masilo Modubi, Bernard Parker and MacBeth Sibaya.

But, Parreira is unlikely to get the likes of Pienaar, McCarthy, Mokoena and Morris as the two camps do not fall within the Fifa international calender.

Parreira said: "This trip is just to make personal contacts with club coaches to try and release players for the camps in Brazil and Germany. The real target is the local camp in May in South Africa. But if we can get the players earlier, that will be great.

"Remember, clubs are not obliged to release the players, but we will be happy if they could release them as this would greatly help in terms of our preparations for this difficult tournament ahead of us. We can only hope for the best in our negotiations."

Nkumane said Gonzalez will also liaise with the physical trainers of the teams they will be engaging, considering that most of the local players are not getting game-time.

"He will keep tabs by following their training programmes, and for that to happen he will have to liaise with the physical trainers of those players in their clubs, so we have to take him so he can also network.

"The whole exercise will help when the players report for national team duty, they will be in a better shape," said Nkumane.

The Brazil camp will take place next month while the Germany camp takes place in April.

l As part of the 100 Days World Cup Countdown celebrations, Bafana will play against Namibia at the new Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on March 3.

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