FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa arrived in Germany on Tuesday for a two-week training camp as they step up their preparations for the 2010 football showpiece.
This is at a time Super Eagles technical adviser, Lars Lagerback is still guessing on which players to invite to camp which he hopes will begin mid May.
Head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira named a 25-man squad for the camp, which will run until April 30Â and features none of the Bafana Bafanaâ€™s foreign-based players except for Ajax youngster Daylon Claassen.
â€œThe Germany camp is getting closer to the World Cup, so we have to show some improvements as a team, we canâ€™t afford any regression, and as a result we have to improve further from our previous gains,â€ Parreira said at a press conference in Johannesburg prior to departing for Germany. â€œThe team has shape and we are now competitive tactically and physically.â€
The South Africans arrived in Germany just a week after finishing a month-long training camp in Brazil, the highpoint of which was a 1-1 draw against FIFA World Cup qualifiers Paraguay on 31 March. The other two friendlies in the 2010 calendar year to date saw the Bafana Bafana draw 1-1 against Namibia in Durban on 3 March, after having beaten Zimbabwe 3-0 in Durban on 27 January.
The highlight of the German camp will be a friendly against China scheduled for 28 April. A venue has yet to be determined for the match, which is South Africaâ€™s penultimate warm-up match prior to their game with Denmark in Johannesburg on 5 June.
Parreiraâ€™s men will kick off the tournament on 11 June with the opening match against Mexico. Drawn in Group A, South Africa will also face Uruguay on 16 June and France on 22 June.
For his Herzogenaurach camp Parreira dropped five players from the squad at the Brazilian camp, which was the first part of his preparations for locally based players. The most high-profile player recalled by the Brazilian coach was striker Siyabonga Nomvete.
The 32-year-oldâ€™s goal gave South Africa their only FIFA World Cup victory over Slovenia in South Korea in 2002 and he has earned 72 caps – his last coming in October 2007 – and scored 15 goals.