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SA SOCCER NEWS
All Systems Go For Bafana 09/10/03
Bafana Bafana's preparations for Saturday's Vodacom Mandela Challenge game against Costa Rica in Potchestroom on are coming along nicely.

With the exception of Lillestrom goalkeeper Emile Baron, all of the team's other foreign-based stars have arrived in the country.

These players, including Mbulelo Mabizela, Aaron Mokoena, Japhet Zwane, Josta Dladla and MacBeth Sibaya, are meeting up with some of their team-mates who defeated Lesotho 3-0 last night, in a training session in Johannesburg this afternoon (Thursday).

They will then all be heading off for Potchestroom tomorrow morning.

Team manager Stanley "Screamer" Tshabalala, is understandably pleased with the way things are falling into place, which marks a huge improvement with the chaos that is often associated with a Bafana Bafana training camp.

"That only two players have not arrived on Wednesday augers well for our preparation. This is the kind of situation we would want in all the call-ups building to the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) next year," Tshabalala told the Sowetan.

The South African officials are going all out to ensure that they have the adequate preparation to enable the team to match coach Shakes Mashaba's promise of returning from Tunisia with a medal.

They are planning to travel to Egypt a couple of days before the tournament proper in order to play a friendly and allow the players to acclimatize to the hot conditions in North Africa.

On top of this they have also re-scheduled the Cosafa Challenge Cup game against Mauritius from March to January 10.

"We are looking at taking our Afcon squad to Mauritius and then proceed to whatever destination we have chosen for our pre-tournament camp," said Safa's acting chief executive, Albert Mokoena.

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