Swazi­land the first test for new-look Bafana

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - KAMLESH GOSAI

ROLLING sub­sti­tu­tions and two dif­fer­ent Bafana line-ups in each half dur­ing to­day’s train­ing friendly against Swazi­land at Chatsworth Sta­dium might make for a hap­haz­ard af­fair, but if it works out per­fectly then the core of the World Cup squad will emerge from this Dur­ban camp.

No caps will be awarded for this out­ing, but the stakes are high be­cause coach Car­los Al­berto Par­reira ex­pects to have the core of his World Cup squad in action when South Africa take on Zim­babwe in an of­fi­cial friendly on Wed­nes­day.

Par­reira will field two dif­fer­ent sides in each pe­riod against a Swazi out­fit that will not be as ex­per­i­men­tal.

Swazi coach Ephraim Mashaba will aim to give an out­ing to six un­der-20 play­ers in a side that is well set­tled with their reg­u­lar stars such as Den­nis Masina and Siza Dlamini.

The sig­nif­i­cance of this train­ing camp has in­creased markedly. At the start of the week Par­reira an­nounced that 65% or 70% of this 29-man squad will make it into the World Cup setup. By yes­ter­day the chance of this group im­proved to 75%.

“On Wed­nes­day we will see the foun­da­tion of this team. From this group of 29 we may take 25 or 26 play­ers to Brazil. Maybe some play­ers will shine (in the league) in Fe­bru­ary,” said Par­reira.

The trip to Brazil will de­layed be­cause the Premier Soc­cer League will not be able to com­plete its pro­gramme in Fe­bru­ary.

Par­reira de­scribed it as a “lit­tle headache” – be­cause re-sched­ul­ing means he could ef­fec- tively lose five days – “but in the end it will not change much. In­stead of nine games we may play one less.

“They shouldn’t have changed the pro­gramme; there was an agree­ment. Al­ways there is this clash be­tween clubs and the na­tional teams, ever since I’ve come here. But they (PSL) asked in a nice way and we took it in a nice way.”

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