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All aboard the Bafana train


The belated, but soothing pronouncement from Bafana Bafana administrative manager Sipho Nkumane on Tuesday night that 'all the players are now in camp' must have sounded like soothing music to the ears of head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

The last three players to arrive were the contentiuous and controversial Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar, Maccabi Haifa full-back Tsepo Masilela and Bloemfontein Celtic full-back Tumelo Nhlapo, a late replacment for the injured Vuyo Mere.

The full squad of 23 players for the African Nations Cup were due at Bafana's training camp in Durban on Sunday in accordance with FIFA regulations - but the delayed arrival of Pienaar, in particular, has been the outcome of a dogged battle of attrition between Parreira and Everton manager David Moyes.

The Everton manager had tried every trick in the book - and a few not yet chronicled - while attempting to delay the departure of his lithe South Africa midfielder until after Tuesday night's first-leg Carling Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Instead, Pienaar will be no nearer to Stamford Bridge than a TV set at Bafana's hotel after arriving in Durban in the afternoon.

He was preceded at the Bafana camp by Masilela, who arrived in South Africa on Tuesday morning after claiming to have missed a connecting flight from Israel on Sunday.

Masilela, indeed, joined Bafana's late training session on Tuesday after which Nkumane was able to provide further reassuring news for Parreira that "all the players appear to be fit and there are no furthet injuries at this stage".

SAPA

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For more information please visit
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February 13
Absa Premiership:
Swallows v Pirates
KO: 7.30pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

February 20
Absa Premiership:
Swallows v Santos
KO: 7.30pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

December 21
Absa Premiership:
Lost 0-1 v Wits
Venue: BidVest Stadium

December 16
Absa Premiership:
Won 3-2 v AmaZulu
Venue: Germiston Stadium

December 12
Absa Premiership:
Won 2-0 v FS Stars
Venue: Goble Park

December 9
Absa Premiership:
Won 6-2 P Stars
Venue: Germiston Stadium

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