Swaziland the first test for new-look Bafana
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.”