Bafana Bafana players are looking forward to pit their skills against Zambia in a practice-training match that will be held at the Rand Stadium on Wednesday, 11 January 2012. It will start at 16h30. They will follow it up with another one on Sunday, 15 January 2012 against Ghana at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace. Kickoff there is 16h00.
The sessions are meant to help both Zambia and Ghana to prepare for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament that starts on the 21st of January and will be staged in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
They are also to help Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane to check the depth of his squad as he will be without many of his regular players - with Reneilwe Letsholonyane the only experienced player in the squad. Letsholonyane will lead the side.
"These are not full internationals, there will be no caps awarded and we will be using our training kit because that's what the clashes are about - mainly training. We haven't decided on the format as yet but there are suggestions to play two 45-minute halves, or two 50-minute halves or even three 30-minute parts. I still have to meet the coaches of the two sides to finalise the format. These are similar matches to the one we played against Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates in the past. The sides will be at liberty to use as many players as possible - in fact we might use all the players in one match. A red-carded player can be replaced by another player. These are the kind of sessions that will help me see what we have for the future because most of the players in the current squad are still new to the Bafana Bafana set-up. I don't want the fans to think this is a joke, because these are just training sessions for all three countries," said Mosimane.
Bafana Bafana had their last training on Tuesday morning (10 January) ahead of their meeting with Zambia.
Ï am really looking forward to this outing, and it will be a bit difficult for us as they are preparing for the Afcon, but it's going to be a great experience for me personally. These sessions are giving the coach a chance to see us in a match situation and to prove our mettle. Even though the matches have been degraded to training sessions we have to take them seriously as though its an official match. For me and all the other players, this is an opportunity to raise our hands and show why we have been selected. It would be great to get a goal in one or two of the matches, but the target is to get a run in the side first. I would like to make this selection a regular one, but first I have to be consistent at my club," said Bidvest Wits striker, Ryan Chapman.
Chapman earned his first cap for Bafana Bafana in the goalless draw against Equatorial Guinea in Bata City last week.
Ajax Cape Town forward George Maluleka echoed his sentiments.
Ï think this match will be tougher than the Equatorial Guinea friendly encounter. We won't be getting caps in these two training matches, but at this stage they (caps) are not that important. What is key is to give our all and prove to the coach that we can do the business if the main team is not here, so in that regard these are very important clashes for the new players," said Maluleka.