South Africa call up Peterborough teenager Kgosi Ntlhe

Kgosi Ntlhe

South Africa have included 18-year-old Kgosi Ntlhe of Peterborough United in their squad for next month's friendlies against Brazil and Mozambique.

Full-back Ntlhe, who only made his full debut in the English Championship earlier this month, is one of seven uncapped players in the 25-man squad.

Bafana Bafana play Brazil in Sao Paolo on 7 September and host Mozambique at Mbombela Stadium four days later.

It is coach Gordon Igesund's first squad since he took over in June.

He had said he wanted to give new players an opportunity as South Africa prepare to host the African Nations Cup finals in January and has been true to his word.

As well as Ntlhe, there are half a dozen other new faces: Kamohelo Mokotjo, Kgosietsile Ntlhe, Katlego Mashego, Thabo Matlaba, Dean Furman, Dino Ndlovu and Thamsanqa Gabuza.

Furman is another England-based player and a former Chelsea apprentice who is now on the books at League One club Oldham Athletic.

Igesund has also opted for experience, bringing back Bevan Fransman, Bernard Parker, Kagiso Dikgacoi and Lerato Chabangu after lengthy absences as well as persuading goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs to come out of international retirement.

"I have chosen the best squad available based on current form and fitness - the strongest team in my view," said Igesund, who has selected 10 overseas players.

"I am also giving other players a chance so that I know early the type of players we have. It is better to make mistakes now, rectify them and chart the way forward.

"It does not mean the career of names not on this sheet is over. My philosophy is that every player should fight for the flag and not take things for granted. In that way we will have a fighting mentality in the national team."

"These are very exciting times for our country, especially with the Africa Cup of Nations tournament and the World Cup qualifiers that are coming up. I believe if everyone pulls in the right direction, we can make it happen," said Igesund.

The match in Sao Paulo comes during Brazil's celebration for their Independence Day, and will also be used as part of a symbolic hand-over from the previous to present hosts of the World Cup.

"The clash with Brazil is going to be very tough, and we will be using it to see what type of players we have available," said Igesund.

"This is also the chance to get the best possible squad to represent our country at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament next year, which we are hosting.

"We are going out there to do our best, one thing I am sure of, this team will play with pride, passion and commitment - hopefully we can achieve our objectives. The most important thing is that we should not be scared to lose."

Igesund has also called for the country to support the national team as they embark on a new era.

"We cannot do it alone, we need as much support as we can get, we need everyone to rally behind the team," he said.

South Africa squad:

Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Defenders: Bevan Fransman (SuperSport Utd), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK/GRE), Punch Masenamela (Sundowns), Eric Mathoho (Chiefs), Anele Ngcongca (Genk/BEL), Kgosietsile Ntlhe (Peterborough Utd/ENG), Siyabonga Sangweni (Pirates)

Midfielders: Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Lerato Chabangu and Katlego Mashego (Moroka Swallows), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace/ENG), Dean Furman (Oldham/ENG), May Mahlangu (Helsingborg/SWE), Thabo Matlaba (Pirates), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Feyenoord/NED), Steven Pienaar (Everton/ENG, capt), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam/NED)

Strikers: Thamsanqa Gabuza (Golden Arrows), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Hafia/ISR), Siyabonga Nomvethe (Swallows)

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