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Hugo Broos backed for a brighter future with Bafana by Mabhuti Khenyeza

Mabhuti Khenyeza coach of Golden Arrows during DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows

Golden Arrows coach Mabhuti Khenyeza (pictured) has thrown his weight behind national mentor Hugo Broos, in the face of heavy criticism directed at the Bafana boss. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Nov 2, 2023


Golden Arrows coach Mabhuti Khenyeza has thrown his weight behind national mentor Hugo Broos to lead Bafana Bafana to a better future.

The Belgium-born coach has never shied too far away from controversy since his arrival on South African shores two years ago, as his blunt personality rocked the football fraternity.

Broos, an Africa Cup of Nations winner with Cameroon in 2016, has made shocking yet bold decisions since his appointment in 2021, and has always had the words to defend them.

While he has found himself at loggerheads with Premier Soccer League clubs, Broos’s impact at Bafana since taking over has earned him an admirer in Khenyeza.

Forward-thinking approach

The 41-year-old mentor, who has guided Arrows to a surprisingly strong start to the 2023/2024 campaign, complimented Broos for his forward-thinking approach as one of the Belgian’s best attributes.

“I follow a lot of international football and the kind of approach that’s used globally. We (South Africans) are sometimes friendly in how we discuss football and we aren’t critical enough,” he said.

“I always listen to his interviews, and whenever he does his selection, he doesn’t look at football the same way we do ... He aligns himself with international demands and standards.

“We watch players and see them do stylish stuff and say they’re hot and deserve to be in the national team, whereas he looks at the physicality or how tactically efficient that person is.”

Since his arrival, Broos began laying the foundations for a sustainable Bafana by introducing a younger age group, while attempting to return the nation to its former glory.

The 71-year-old coach narrowly missed out on helping Bafana qualify for the last Fifa World Cup, but was able to secure a place in next year’s edition of the Afcon in Ivory Coast.

Bafana are currently on an 11-game unbeaten streak, having defeated Africa’s No 1 Morocco, as well as holding the Ivorians away in their last international friendly.

Khenyeza believed the critics of Broos are always quick to pounce on the negatives, neglecting all the positive signs against some of the giants of the continent.

‘They beat Morocco’

“They played against Morocco, the people who reached the World Cup semi-final – being in the top four out of 32 teams – and beat them, and we kept quiet,” he pointed out.

“But we wait until Bafana play against Lesotho, and when they draw, we say, ‘He doesn’t know anything, this coach’, and we don’t look at other stuff.

“It is important to be less of a critic and that’s what I do, especially when speaking to foreign coaches. I always leave room to learn things from them.”

Bafana announced a 44-man preliminary squad this week for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda and Benin later this month.

Broos is expected to name his final 26-man group to be entrusted with the responsibility of securing Bafana’s place at the global showpiece after a 13-year absence.


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