South Africa coach Gordon Igesund included seven stars from championship leaders Kaizer Chiefs in his 23-man Africa Cup of Nations squad Sunday.
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, defenders Siboniso Gaxa and Tshepo Masilela, midfielders Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala and strikers Lehlohonolo Majoro and Bernard Parker come from the league pacesetters.
There are also four stars from second-place Orlando Pirates, two from Mamelodi Sundowns and one each from Bloemfontein Cetlic, Moroka Swallows and Platinum Stars to swell the local contingent to 16 players.
Captain and centre-back Bongani Khumalo from Greek outfit PAOK is among seven Europe-based players and the list includes fit-again Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Thulani Serero.
Defensive midfielders Kagisho Dikgacoi and Dean Furman, who play in England for second-tier Crystal Palace and third-tier Oldham Athletic respectively, also got the nod.
Sweden-based midfielder Max Mahlangu and striker Tokelo Rantie and defender Anele Ngcongca from Belgian club Racing Genk complete the overseas-based South Africans for the January 19-February 10 tournament.
Among those who missed out was left-back Ricardo Nunes from Slovak club MSK Zilina, who impressed going forward in friendlies against Poland and Zambia, but looked defensively vulnerable.
"Now that the squad has been selected the focus is on the tournament and the real hard work begins for all of us," Igesund said after the squad announcement at an upscale hotel in a Johannesburg suburb.
"I can now instil my philosophy and am confident that by the time the Cup of Nations starts we will be ready and playing as a unit. The support of all South African will be crucial if we are to succeed."
Hosts South Africa, who won the Cup of Nations when they last staged it 16 years ago, are in Group A with Angola, former champions Morocco and debutants Cape Verde Islands.
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Norway at Cape Town Stadium on January 8 and fellow Cup of Nations contenders Algeria at Orlando Stadium in Soweto four days later in warm-up games.
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Senzo Meyiwa (Orlando Pirates), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa and Tshepo Masilela (Chiefs), Thabo Matlaba and Siyabonga Sangweni (Pirates), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK/GRE, capt), Anele Ngcongca (Genk/BEL), Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Midfielders: Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace/ENG), Dean Furman (Oldham/ENG), Max Mahlangu (Helsingborg/SWE), Oupa Manyisa (Pirates), Thuso Phala (Platinum Stars), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam/NED)
Strikers: Lehlohonolo Majoro and Bernard Parker (Chiefs), Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo/SWE)