Hugo Broos close to finding consistency with his Bafana Bafana selections

FILE - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos during his team announcement. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

FILE - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos during his team announcement. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 11, 2023


Johannesburg — Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos believes that he has been in the country long enough to have an idea of the type of players that fits into his system.

It’s been two years since Broos took over one of the hottest footballing seats in the country, following the dismissal of Molefi Ntseki after an underwhelming stint at the helm.

The Belgian-born coach made a host of promises during his unveiling, including the integration of youngsters into the team and selection of players based on merit instead of popularity.

Granted he has kept the bulk of his promises when it comes to integration and selection, but there’s still room for improvement given his latest squad.

Bafana will host the No 1 ranked nation in Africa and World Cup semi-finalists Morocco in the last Afcon qualifier on Saturday, having the two nations made passage to the finals next year in Ivory Coast.

And while Broos named a relatively strong final squad for the clash, there were notable absentees from the preliminary that he selected over a fortnight ago – before they went into a pre-camp.

Duo Miguel Timm and Khanyisa Mayo had impressive seasons for their respective clubs Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City, but they were a no show in Broos’ final list.

And that raised eyebrows given that Timm was nominated for the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament and MTN8 Last Man Standing awards, while Mayo was the Premiership's joint top goal scorer alongside Peter Shalulile.

Broos, though, didn’t leave out the duo because they were not good enough to don the Bafana jersey, instead he had to stick with his usual guns and make decisions – some which he, too, can’t explain.

“It’s important because there are mostly the same players in the team. We don’t have to restart every time. Players know very well now what I ask and want, how we are training and so on,” Broos said.

“So, I don’t have to explain anymore – everyone knows what to do and what not to do. It’s very easy when you work, and this is one of the easiest things for a club coach.

“Every day you have your players there and they are the same. So, what we did before was making many, many changes every time because we didn’t find what we wanted.

“So since September last year, there were games against Botswana and Sierra Leone, and for me there was a feeling that ‘okay I want to go on with these guys’.”

And while Broos might have kept a core of his team from last year’s friends against the Zebras and the Leone Stars, he wasn’t happy with some of the players’ performance from those matches and before.

So much so that the silver-haired Belgian made a bold declaration that some of those players will not play for the national team as long as he’s still in charge. These included Kaizer Chiefs’ striker Ashley Du Preez.

Broos has since stuck to his words, not calling up Du Preez despite his personal strong finish to the season as Chiefs endured another disappointing campaign, finishing fifth in the league and without a trophy.

“Are they with us?” the Belgian asked. “It’s simple as that.”


IOL Sport