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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 17:39 UK

Parreira laments lack of quality friendly matches

Piers Edwards
BBC Sport South Africa

South Africa striker Siyabonga Nomvete
Nomvete is one of a trio of three new call-ups for South Africa

South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has admitted the quality of the hosts' pre-World Cup friendlies is far from 'ideal'.

The Brazilian was speaking as he named a 25-man squad for this month's training camp in Germany, where South Africa will play an international friendly against China on 28 April.

In addition, the 2010 World Cup hosts will also play three club sides although only one match, the clash with FC Nuremberg on 22 April, has been confirmed.

With a potential May date with Argentina hanging in the balance, South Africa's sole confirmed friendly in the run-up to the World Cup is a 5 June meeting with Denmark.

"When I rejoined South Africa in November, we should have had games organised but we did not," lamented Brazil's 1994 World Cup-winning coach.

"And with such a short time, it was very difficult (to organise quality friendlies) as the big teams had already fixed their games.

"I tried Brazil - personally - and I tried Germany and England, but they could not play us because their calendar was already full."

South Africa's matches this year have been against Swaziland (6-2), Zimbabwe (3-0), Namibia (1-1) and away to a weak Paraguay side (1-1) - with friendlies against China and Denmark to come.

At the World Cup in June, the hosts will face superior opposition in the shape of Group A opponents Mexico, Uruguay and 1998 world champions France.

"So are these warm-ups my ideal games? No, they're simply what was possible," Parreira admitted.

"But they are enough for us to get a good preparation. Denmark are a good team, and we might play Colombia or Wales as well."

The CEO of the South African FA, Leslie Sedibe, also mentioned Bolivia as a potential opponent and confirmed talks are ongoing with the Argentine FA about a friendly in late May.

Meanwhile, Parreira handed World Cup lifelines to a trio of forgotten internationals as he prepares for Monday's departure to Germany, where South Africa will be based until the end of April.

The Brazilian unexpectedly recalled forwards Siyabonga Nomvethe, 32, and Katlego Mashego, neither of whom has made a Parreira squad since the coach's reappointment last October.

Though Nasief Morris was not chosen for a camp that falls outside the international calendar, the only South African playing in Spain's La Liga was given some cause for hope.

"This is not the final camp, nor the final list," Parreira told a news conference on Thursday.

"Players are not in, nor out, and we will consider later whether we take someone like Nasief for the final camp or not."

Morris has not played for South Africa since falling out with previous coach Joel Santana on the eve of last year's Fifa Confederations Cup, a dry run for June's World Cup.

Yet both the experienced Moroka Swallows' Nomvete, 32, who last played for Bafana Bafana in 2007 but who has found a new lease of life, and Mashego, even though the Orlando Pirates forward has struggled for form this season, were recalled.

Meanwhile, six players from last month's camp in Brazil were dropped - with the World Cup dreams of Daine Klate, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Thulani Serero, Tlou Segolela and Richard Henyekane now hanging by a thread.

The sixth player to go, Kermit Erasmus, may still make South Africa's final training camp in Johannesburg (which starts on 5 May).

The Excelsior Rotterdam forward, who shone at last year's U20 World Cup, was only allowed to join the camp in Brazil after being given special permission by his Dutch club.

After returning to South Africa from their German camp on 30 May, South Africa's players will have a week's rest before entering the final phase of the hosts' World Cup preparations.

All Bafana Bafana's squad heading to Germany play in South Africa, save for midfielder Daylon Claasen who is on the books of Ajax Amsterdam but has yet to make his debut for the Dutch side.

South Africa squad:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United)

Defenders: Matthew Booth, Siboniso Gaxa, Innocent Mdledle, Siyanda Xulu (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport Utd), Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic)

Midfielders: Andile Jali, Teko Modise (both Orlando Pirates), Franklin Cale, Lebohang Mokoena, Surprise Moriri (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (all Kaizer Chiefs), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Daylon Claasen (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Thabo Nthethe, Katlego Mashego

Strikers: Gert Schalkwyk (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns) and Siyabonga Nomvethe (Moroka Swallows).



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see also
Bafana encouraged by Brazil trip
05 Apr 10 |  African
Brazil camp 'vital' for SA
09 Mar 10 |  African
World Cup is our Everest - Parreira
08 Dec 09 |  African


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