Bafana Bafana coach, Hugo Broos, has named a squad of 23 players for the back-to-back 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana. The youthful squad, which is the first the Belgian coach has named for a competitive match, includes seven attacking players with Percy Tau amongst them, despite his lack of game time. Broos trimmed the 31-man squad he announced last week and omitted, among others, defenders Innocent Maela, Njabulo Ncgobo and Mosa Lebusa.

Supersport United’s Ronwen Williams, Amazulu’s Veli Mothwa and Kaizer Chiefs’ Bruce Bvuma make up the goalkeeping department. Mamelodi Sundowns has most players in the squad in Mothobi Mvala, Rushne De Reuck, Thapelo Morena, Sydney Mobbie and Thabiso Kutumela. Broos has also included Supersport United’ midfielders, Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule. While Lebusa and Maela have been omitted from the squad because of injuries, it is the omission of Chiefs’ Njabulo Ncgobo which is surprising. However, the Belgian says the door is not closed and they might still be considered later in the campaign.

“Maybe there are other players also disappointed but this is my first choice so I made the choice maybe after Ghana I will say maybe I should not have selected this one.” says Hugo Broos, Bafana Bafana coach.

The coach has included Percy Tau who has reportedly signed a three-year deal with Egyptian giants, Ahl Ahly, despite the former Downs star’s lack of game time.

“First thing is quality, I can leave all those players out because of not playing but will I have enough players to replace them with enough quality for Bafana Bafana” Hugo Broos, Bafana Bafana coach added.

A number of exciting youngsters are in the squad such as Chiefs’ Njabulo Blom, TS Galaxy’s Ethan Brooks and Orlando Pirates’ Evidence Makgopa. Broos has also shown his hand by naming Makgopa among the seven attackers, alongside Tau, Kutumela and Luther Singh.

“When you don’t score you don’t win the game which is why this team is so offensive but being offensive doesn’t mean you will only focus when we have the ball.” Hugo Broos, Bafana Bafana coach explains.

The players will go into camp on Monday to prepare for the two qualifiers. Bafana will play Zimbabwe on the third of next month away before hosting Ghana at the FNB stadium three days later. After the back-to-back qualifiers, Bafana’s next qualifier will be away against Ethiopia on the 6th of October.