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Bafana gear up for Swazis

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BILLY COOPER | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MAIL & GUARDIAN-22-Jan-2010

Bafana Bafana fringe players will get their chance to impress Carlos Alberto Parreira when Bafana tackle Swaziland

Bafana Bafana fringe players will get their chance to impress Carlos Alberto Parreira when Bafana tackle Swaziland in a training game at Durban's Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is at 4pm.

Parreira took his first major step in preparing Bafana for what will be a difficult World Cup finals in June when he called up 29 locally-based players for a two week training camp in Durban which culminates in the full friendly international against Zimbabwe at the Moses Mabhida Stadium next Wednesday.

Parreira will be looking for players who fit into his game plan and philosophy. Bafana assistant coach Pitso Mosimane said the Brazilian head coach would give as many players in his current squad a run against the Swazis in order to get a look at them under competitive match conditions.

There will be no caps awarded for this match but there will also be no excuses either from Parreira, should the Swazis be tougher to crack than expected.

Said Mosimane: "We have taken 29 players into this first camp of 2010 in Durban which gives Parreira the opportunity to work close up with players he has not had contact with before."

But Mosimane stressed that the bigger match was the international friendly against Zimbabwe at the new World Cup venue next Wednesday where caps will be awarded.

"There is nothing at stake in terms of world ranking points against Swaziland, except that it is an important part of our preparation.

"However, the game against Zimbabwe is the real thing and counts towards our world ranking."

Mosimane said while Zimbabwe posed the bigger threat, Parreira was not taking Swaziland lightly.

"We know Swaziland have nothing to lose and everything to gain to try and beat us. Add the fact they have a former Bafana coach in Shakes Mashaba in charge, makes our job double harder."

Mosimane said they had not agreed on how many substitutes they can use, but said it would be a lot more that the usual five used in friendly games.


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