BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has named a 26-man squad to play Poland and Kenya in two away international friendly matches.
The Poland match takes place on October 12 in Warsaw, with the encounter against Kenya scheduled for October 16 in Nairobi.
There are nine new players that were not part of the squad that travelled to Brazil and also played against Mozambique last month.
Igesund has called up Slovakia-based defender, Ricardo Nunes who plays for MSK Zilina. He is the only newcomer into the squad.
Maritzburg United midfielder, Delron Buckley makes a comeback to the national set-up after a long absence.
Also making a comeback are Luvhengo Mungomeni of Moroka Swallows, Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sifiso Myeni and Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), George Lebese (Kaizer Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo FF, Sweden) and Thabo Nthete (Bloemfontein Celtic).
South Africa will be without the injured trio of Thulani Serero, Siboniso Gaxa and Benni McCarthy while former captain Steven Pienaar has retired from international football.
“I am disappointed that Steven has retired from the national team. His presence and leadership is invaluable and could have helped us in our mission for 2013 AFCON and the World Cup qualification, but we must respect his decision. When I travel overseas to check on other players, I will try to have a word with him,” said Igesund.
Bongani Khumalo will captain the team.
“The idea now is to build a team for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament and the one to qualify us for Brazil 2014. The thing is, I don’t have the luxury of time,” said the Bafana Bafana head coach.
“At the moment I can’t use the same players over and over again, I have to try and shuffle the team around. But in the remaining matches shortly before the start of the tournament, you will see more consistency in squad selection.”
Bafana will assemble on October 7 and depart for Warsaw in Poland on Monday night ( October 8).
The overseas-based players will travel directly to Warsaw from their various clubs.
The squad will have two days training (Wednesday and Thursday) before facing Poland on October 12.
“The Poland game presents us with an opportunity to test ourselves against the best. They are a very good side and should help us with our preparations for the 2013 AFCON. We should be in a position to measure our progress when we face Kenya four days later. Both matches are very important to our preparations,” said Igesund.
The team leaves Warsaw on 13 October for Nairobi via Amsterdam and returns to South Africa on October 17.
1. Itumeleng KHUNE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
2. Wayne SANDILANDS Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
3. Moeneeb JOSEPHS Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
4. Bevan FRANSMAN Supersport United FC (SA)
5. Thabo NTHETHE Bloemfontein Celtics (SA)
6. Siyabonga SANGWENI Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
7. Eric MATHOHO Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
8. Punch MASENAMELA Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
9. Luvhengo MUNGOMENI Moroka Swallows FC (SA)
10. Bongani KHUMALO PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece)
11. Ricardo NUNES MSK Zilina (Slovakia)
12. Oupa MANYISA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
13. Reneilwe LETSHOLONYANE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
14. Siphiwe TSHABALALA Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
15. Sifiso MYENI Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
16. George LEBESE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
17. Teko MODISE Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
18. Delron BUCKLEY Maritzburg United FC (SA)
19. Katlego MASHEGO Free State Stars FC (SA)
20. May MAHLANGU Helsingborg (Sweden)
21. Kagisho DIKGACOI Crystal Palace (England)
22. Dean FURMAN Oldham Athletic (England)
23. Lerato CHABANGU Moroka Swallows FC (SA)
24. Bernard PARKER Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
25. Dino NDLOVU Maccabi Haifa (Israel)
26. Tokelo RANTIE Malmo FF (Sweden)