Broos moves attention to World Cup and next year’s AFCON

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Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has turned his attention to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco, the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and building a formidable team for the future.

Broos has made 10 changes to the team that played at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast for this month’s  international friendly matches against Andorra and Algeria.

But some of the regular players at the AFCON tournament where Bafana finished third, have been left out due to injuries.

Broos has named his 23 players for the two FIFA Series International friendlies pilot project against Andorra and Algeria.

The first match will be against Andorra on the the 21st of this month and the second against the highly ranked Algeria five days later.

Both games are in preparation for the back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe in June.

To ensure continuity, Broos says he decided to include the bulk of the players that were part of the Bafana Bafana team that won bronze at last month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast.

But Broos says some players were unavailable due to injuries.

“When you see the programme for the next two years, these are the only two friendly games we are going to play, all the rest it’s qualifiers. So, this will really be the opportunity if you wanted to see some players, young players, it was his time to do it. Secondly, I have said it already before little by little you have to think about new players, younger players because there are some players in the team who are 29, 30 and more.”

Kaizer Chiefs keeper Bruce Bvuma, defender Siyabonga Ngezana and midfielder Goodman Mosele have been included in the team for this month’s friendlies.

Other in form players such as Khanyiso Mayo, Iqraam Rayners and Patrick Maswanganyi have also been included in the team that will travel to Algeria.

Broos says this is an opportunity for Mayo to prove that he is ready to play for the senior national team.

“I expected more progress from Mayo I think now with all those strikers who are injured Makgopa, Mothiba, and Foster, yeah he gets his chance and it’s up to him now to show that that it’s not only because he has scored in eight games. It’s okay show me now that you have the level of Bafana Bafana”.

But Al Ahly forward Percy Tau, who did not have a good AFCON tournament by his own standards, was excluded from the squad.

Broos explains, “At the end of AFCON, Percy was mentally broken, really broken, there were a lot of critics. It was not fair but okay you know social media can kill someone so I saw him and I talked to him, he said I have no problem but I knew there was a problem. So, I called him two weeks later, or one week later and we talked to each other and I said to him listen I will not call you up for the friendly games he said, call me I want to come, I said stay there until everything is calm again”.

The Bafana Bafana coach says he’s impressed with Maswanganyi’s performance and the attacking midfielder could easily replace Themba Zwane in the near future.

He is also following the good progress of exciting Orlando Pirates youngster, Relebohile Mofokeng.

Keeper Veli Mothwa as well as defenders Siyanda Xulu and Thabang Monare who are all in their mid-thirties, have made way for younger players in the team.

Meanwhile, Broos has requested a meeting with the chairman of the Premier Soccer League, Irvin Khoza, to try and normalise the working relationship between Bafana Bafana and the National Soccer League going forward.

The request of the national coach to have the Premier Soccer League programme suspended before last Christmas to give Bafana Bafana enough time to prepare for the AFCON tournament, fell on deaf ears.