The South African under-23 soccer team has called up 25 players to camp in preparation for the Eight Nations Olympic qualifier in Egypt from 26 November to 10 December.
Sapa reports that the team assembled for camp on Wednesday to begin training sessions at the High Performance Centre, University of Pretoria, until Monday October 10.
The camp is meant to give coach Shakes Mashaba time to spend with the players leading up to the tournament.
The bulk of the players called up did not form part of the team which recently brought home the All Africa Games silver medal. They lost on penalties to Ghana in the final in Mozambique. Two practice matches against PSL teams have been lined during the camp.
Mashaba said: “We are expecting players for this camp in preparation for the Eight Nations tournament in November this year. This time I’d like to use a lot of the players who did not make up part of the AAG squad.
“I’d like to use this camp not only for tactical formation, but to address a serious issue when it comes to finishing up-front. We are hoping to capitalise on the FIFA date in November to help us establish a strong team moving towards the tournament in the same month.
“The team will play two practice matches and on the final day of the camp to conclude preparations and hopefully have the squad of players we’ll require in November.”
The South Africans have confirmed Senegal for an international friendly match.
South Africa have been drawn in Group A along with tournament hosts Egypt, Gabon and Ivory Coast. The three teams that top the CAF tournament will qualify for the Olympic games to take place in London from July 25 to August 9, 2012.
The fourth team will battle it out against Asian opposition for a place in the Olympic games next year.
Goalkeepers: Pule Boalefa, Brilliant Khuzwayo.
Defenders: Zulu Siyabonga, Mxoyana, Sibusiso, Hlatshwayo Thulani, Doctor Mampuru, Wandisile Letlabika, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Gladwin Shitolo, Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi.
Midfielders: Thandani Ntshumayelo, Jabulani Shongwe, Raymond Monama, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Sammehg Doutie, Themba Zwane, Mandla Masango.
Strikers: Bongani, Phumelele Bhengu, Rodney Ramagalela, Thokozani Sekotlong, Gamildien Ruzaigh, Kermit Erasmus.