Head coach of South Africa’s senior national team, Hugo Broos says the recent performance of Mamelodi Sundowns, AmaZulu as well as Orlando Pirates in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup is a huge boost for his side ahead of the nation’s two international friendly ties.
Bafana Bafana are preparing to face Guinea in Brussels, Belgium on Friday before heading to France where they are set to lock horns with the world champions as part of Broos’ preparations for the upcoming AFCON 2023 qualifiers in June.
While the Belgian’s arrival has brought about an improved showing in the team’s performances, his squad selection has been met with mixed feelings, with many bemoaning the coach’s exclusion of players that have been doing well in the CAF inter-club competitions.
However, with the recent performances of the three South African clubs in the interclub competitions, Broos has assembled a 23-man squad comprising of 10 players who have done well for their respective clubs on the continent, which include Fagrie Lakay who recently joined Al Ahly forward, Percy Tau in Egypt at Pyramids FC.
“I saw the performance of AmaZulu, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns in Champions league and Confederation Cup. So, when players are giving good performances at that level, I don’t think we can keep them out of the team, the deserve to be there. They have quality and experience so therefore I expect those guys to increase the quality of the team and help us moving forward,” says Broos.
The coach has however kept his stance on the exclusion of the Sundowns duo of Themba Zwane and Andile Jali, saying that both players were part of the squads that failed to qualify the team for major competitions, adding that the team news younger blood.
“When I came here, I noticed that the team was old and if you have an old team, you don’t have a future” he said.
Sharing his thinking on the selection of the two opponents, the 69-year-old mentor said it was important for the team to play difficult matches for them to improve.
“These are going to be difficult games, but we asked for difficult games. It is not usual that South Africa plays tough friendly games. They used to play easier games which they were assured of victory which I don’t think is the case in these next two games. It’s also an exciting opportunity for us to see the new players and see if they can bring the power and experience that we expect from them” he said.
Broos will be without the services of Tau, who withdrew from the squad due to a knee injury. The skilful forward is replaced by Victor Letsoalo of Royal AM.
Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Supersport Utd), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)
Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune Utd), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Terrence Mashego (Cape Town City), Lyle Lakay (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rushine De Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyanda Xulu (Not attached), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch Utd), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Golden Arrows), Bandile Shandu (Orlando Pirates).
Midfielders: Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns), Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Thabang Monare (Orlando Pirates), Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy), Keagan Dolly (Kaizer Chiefs).
Forwards: Lyle Foster (KVC Westerio), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota Utd), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids FC), Victor Letsoalo (Royal AM).
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