Ethan Duncan Brooks and Rushine de Reuck of South Africa during the 2021 COSAFA Cup final, celebrating Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Ethan Duncan Brooks and Rushine de Reuck of South Africa during the 2021 COSAFA Cup final, celebrating Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Young Ethan Brooks wants to help Bafana turnaround 20 years of disappointment

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Ethan Brooks believes Bafana Bafana will take the confidence from winning the recent Cosafa Cup into their upcoming 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

Brooks was part of the youthful Bafana team that won the regional competition in Gqeberha, and has now been elevated into the final 23-man squad that will face Ghana and Zimbabwe in their opening qualifiers for the Qatar showpiece.

The 20-year-old TS Galaxy midfielder had already made his Bafana debut prior to the Cosafa Cup when he was called up for the friendly against Uganda, but his meteoric rise remains one of the most refreshing stories of the Dstv Premiership.

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It was only a couple of years ago that the former Parktown Boys High pupil was playing amateur football before being spotted by then-TS Galaxy coach Dan Malesela.

“I feel really honoured to be part of the 23-man final squad that will be competing in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Bafana haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 2002, and it would be really key for us to go into these two matches with a positive mindset,” Brooks said.

“We should start on a good note with these two teams. The players that have won the Cosafa Cup recently feel like it would help us going into the qualifiers.”

The Fifa World Cup qualifiers will be the first time the Bafana players get to work with their new coach Hugo Broos after the Belgian missed the Ugandan friendly as he needed to return home for his second Covid-19 vaccination.

Brooks, who has arguably kept out the vastly-experienced Sundowns' Rivaldo Coetzee from the squad, believes Bafana should not take long to adapt to Broos’methods or each other, due the majority of the squad having all recently played together. Five of the championship-winning Cosafa Cup team have been included in the qualifiers, with goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, Rushine De Reuck, Yusuf Maart and Victor Letsoalo joining Brooks in the squad.

“Yes, some of us have played together, we were part of that Uganda squad. It’s not an entirely new squad. It’s a team that can come together and gel well together,” he said.

“With the guys that have been together in the Cosafa, and the guys that have been together against Uganda, it’s not an entirely new squad. It’s not a lot of new faces and it should help going into these qualifiers.”

Bafana will face the Warriors on Friday, September 3 at the National Sports Stadium in Zimbabwe before hosting Ghana at FNB Stadium three days later.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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