Pretoria — Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has announced a 24-man squad to face Malawi in an international friendly match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday, 22 December.
Igesund has kept the core of the team that lost 1-0 to Zambia at FNB Stadium in the Nelson Mandela Challenge last month.
Belgium-based midfielder Ayanda Patosi is the only newcomer in the squad, with defender Tsepo Masilela making a comeback into the team after a long lay-off due to injury.
Also returning after a long absence from the national team are Russia-based defender Siyanda Xulu and Orlando Pirates duo of goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa and forward Daine Klate.
"This is the last chance for me and my technical team to have a final look at what we have at our disposal. The time for observing and assessing the players is almost over, and I believe this match will give us an indication of where we are and where we are going," he said.
Bafana will assemble for camp on Wednesday, 19 December in Johannesburg and will fly to Durban on Thursday, 20 December.
They will have two training sessions - one on Thursday evening at People's Park and the second on Friday morning (21 December) at the match venue.
The coach has also announced a further 12 players that will go into a mini-training camp in Johannesburg from 27 - 30 December, where he will have a last look at the players.
The players are Eric Mathoho, Darren Keet, Anele Ngcongca, Andile Jali, Teko Modise, Bongani Khumalo, Ricardo Nunes, Thulani Serero, Katlego Mphela, Benny McCarthy, Dean Furman and Kagisho Dikgacoi.
The final 23-man for the 2013 African Nations Cup (Afcon) team will be announced after this camp on Sunday, 30 December.
"We initially intended to name the final squad after the match against Norway on 9 January next year, but after careful consideration, we have decided to name the squad at the end of our upcoming December camp so that when we start the January camp, we have all the players we are going to use in the Afcon tournament.
"That will enable them to play together the last two preparation matches against Norway and Algeria," said Igesund.
The full squad to face Malawi includes:
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Senzo Meyiwa.
Defenders: Bevan Fransman, Thabo Nthethe, Siyabonga Sangweni, Siyanda Xulu, Siboniso Gaxa, Tshepo Masilela, Thabo Matlaba.
Midfielders: Oupa Manyisa, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sifiso Myeni, Thanduyise Khuboni, May Mahlangu, Delron Buckley and Lerato Chabangu.
Kick- off is at 6pm.