Mashego aims to impress

RECALLED Bafana Bafana midfielder-cum-striker Katlego Mashego plans to use the squad's camp in Germany to impress, knowing very well it might be his last chance to play in the World Cup.

Mashego is one of the two senior players recalled by Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, along with Siyabonga "Bhele" Nomvethe, for the camp.

The 25-member team, of which Daylon "Alarm" Claasen is the only overseas-based player, arrived in Germany on Tuesday morning.

Parreira and his assistants, Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane, started taking the players through their paces in Herzogenaurach in Germany yesterday.

"Germany are one of the powerhouses of global soccer and we are excited to be here as part of our final preparations for the World Cup," said Mashego, who turns 29 on May 18.

"I want to thank the Bafana Bafana technical staff for recalling me to the team. I will work hard during the camp because it is the dream of every player to play in the World Cup.

"There are no guarantees in soccer and it might be my last chance to play in the World Cup, that is why it is very important for me to make use of this camp to impress."

Bafana have been given royal treatment by their technical sponsors, Adidas, who are rolling out the red carpet for them for the duration of the team's 16-day stay in Germany.

The Teko Modise-captained side has set up a training camp at Adi Dassler Sports Platz, a state-of-the-art sports facility owned by Adidas.

During their stay in Germany, Bafana will play a practice match against Nuremberg FC on April 22 and an international friendly against China six days later.

Bafana, fresh from a month-long training camp in South America, hope to secure two more matches on April 20 and 24 against Bundesliga clubs. The sponsors' public relations manager in South Africa, Zobuzwe Ngobese, said they were looking forward to assisting the national squad in their World Cup preparations.

"The Bafana Bafana team are travelling in luxury Mercedes-Benz buses, which are branded with Safa, Adidas and the Jabulani ball, something that makes the South Africans easily recognisable in Germany," Ngobese said.

He said as part of Bafana's tour of Germany, his company will next week launch the ball that will be used during the final of the World Cup.