Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba is casting his net wide to ensure he has the best possible squad at his disposal for next years African Nations Cup in Tunisia.
It is for this reason that the 53-year-old failed to select players for next weeks friendly internationals against Lesotho and Costa Rica, despite having named some of them in a provisional squad for the continental showpiece last month.
"There are a number of players who are in my provisional squad named last month for the African Nations Cup finals in Tunisia who have not been selected," said Mashaba at the announcement of the squads on Wednesday to take on the African minnows and Central Americans on the October 8 and 11 respectively.
"There is nothing sinister in this as firstly some players are not available due to club commitments and secondly, I want to give as many players a chance to stake their claims for a place in Tunisia."
Players named in the provisional squad who have not been selected for next weeks matches include Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Brian Baloyi who has lost his place at the Soweto glamour club to Rowen Fernandez; defenders Cyril Nzama, Matthew Booth, Nasief Morris, Jakob Lekgetho, Thabang Molefe and Bradley Carnell; midfielders Delron Buckley, Sibusiso Zuma, Bennett Mnguni, Steven Pienaar, Clement Mazibuko, Godfrey Sapula, Isaac Shai and Benedict Vilakazi; and strikers Shaun Bartlett, Nkosinathi Nhleko, Benni McCarthy, George Koumantarakis and Mabhudi Khanyeza.
Mashaba on Wednesday announced two separate squads to take on Lesotho and Costa Rica.
For the match against Lesotho in Maseru, Mashaba selected a 14-man squad of locally-based players, while for the clash with Costa Rica, scheduled for Potchefstroom, the burly coach named a squad comprising both local and European-based stars.
The showdown with Costa Rica is part of the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge. The Central Americans are currently ranked 19th in the world. South Africa are 17 places further back in 36th position.
The Nations Cup opens in Tunisia on January 24 and Mashaba is expected to name his final squad for the three week long tournament in the first two weeks of December.
South Africa have been drawn in arguably the toughest group of the tournament alongside powerhouses Nigeria and Morocco and minnows Benin.
Bafana squad to play Lesotho on October 8:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Roberts (Wits),Moeneeb Josephs (Ajax Cape Town)
Defenders: David Kannemeyer (Kaizer Chiefs), Simphiwe Mkhonza (Golden Arrows), Jimmy Tau (Orlando Pirates), Phil Evans (SuperSport United), Saul Molapo (Manning Rangers), Oscar Ntwagae (Silver Stars)
Midfielders: Patrick Thwala (Orlando Pirates), Teboho Mokopena (Jomo Cosmos), Stanton Fredericks, John Moshoeu, Jabulandu Mendu and Jabu Pule (all Chiefs)
Strikers: Patrick Mayo and David Radebe (both Chiefs), Carlo Scott (Sundowns), Abram Raselemane (SuperSport)
Bafana squad to play Costa Rico in Potchefstroom on October 11:
Goalkeepers: Andre Arendse (Sundowns), Emille Baron (Lillestrom, Norway)
Defenders: David Kannemeyer (Kaizer Chiefs), Aaron Mokoena (Genk, Belgium),Tony Coyle (Rostov, Russia), Mbulelo Mabizela (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Phil Evans (SuperSport United), Simphiwe Mkhonza (Golden Arrows), Jimmy Tau (Orlando Pirates),
Midfielders: Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin, Russia), Japhet Zwane (Rostov, Russia), Teboho Mokoena (Jomo Cosmos), Stanton Fredericks and John Moshoeu (both Chiefs), Benson Mhlongo ((Wits), Josta Dladla (Aarhus, Denmark)
Siyabonga Nomvete (Udinese, Italy), Abram Raselemane (SuperSport) Patrick Mayo (Chiefs).
Preliminary squad for African Nations Cup
Goalkeepers: Andre Arendse (Sundowns), Brian Baloyi (Kaizer Chiefs), Moneeb Josephs (Ajax Cape Town), Emile Baron (Lillestrom, Norway)
Defenders: Cyril Nzama (Chiefs), Matthew Booth (FC Rostov, Russia), Nasief Morris (Panathinaikos, Greece), Mbulelo Mabizela (Orlando Pirates), Aaron Mokoena (Racing Ghenk, Belgium), Jacob Lekgetho (Lokomotiv Moascow, Russia), Thabang Molefe (Le Mans, France), Tony Coyle (FC Rostov, Russia), Bradley Carnell (Borussia Munchengladbach, Germany)
Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (Jomo Cosmos), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Delron Buckley (Vfl Bochum, Germany), Sibusiso Zuma (FC Copenhagen, Denmark), Japhet Zwane, Bennett Mnguni (both FC Rostov, Russia), Steven Pienaar (Ajax Amsterdam, Holland), Jabu Mendu, Jabu Pule, Stanton Fredericks (all Chiefs), Benson Mhlongo (Wits), Clement Mazibuko, Godfrey Sapula, Isaac Shai (all Sundowns), Josta Dladla (AG Aarhus, Denmark), Benedict Vilakazi (Pirates), Sphiwe Mkonza (Arrows)
Strikers: Shaun Bartlett (Charlton Athletic, England), Nkosinathi Nhleko (Dallas Burn, United States), Benni McCarthy (FC Porto, Portugal), David Radebe, Patrick Mayo (both Chiefs), George Koumantarakis (Preston North End, England), Abram Raselemane (SuperSport United), Mabhudi Khanyeza (Golden Arrows), Siyabonga Nomvete (Udinese, Italy).