Home Sport Broos opts for fresh blood for Bafana friendlies

Broos opts for fresh blood for Bafana friendlies

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Hugo Broos has named 10 new players, including three uncapped players, in his 23-man squad for the upcoming international friendlies later this month. The changes have come about as part of the coach’s team-building exercise.

Patrick Maswanganyi of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch FC at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the 29 December 2023 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Herman Gibbs

Percy Tau, one of South Africa’s favourite players, was a notable omission from the Bafana Bafana squad named on Monday, but fans will be pleased with the call-up for the exciting Orlando Pirates central midfielder Patrick ‘Tito’ Maswanganyi.

Tau was hopelessly off-colour at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast and his exclusion is not unexpected because the squad will be playing friendlies rather than competitive matches. Coach Hugo Broos has decided to let him stay with Al Ahly in Egypt and enjoy a break from the international scene.

Instead, Broos has named 10 new players, including three uncapped players, in his 23-man squad for the upcoming international friendlies later this month. The 58th world-ranked Bafana will face Andorra (ranked 164th) at the 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba, Algeria, on Thursday next week.

Five days later, the SA team will play Algeria in Algeria.

The changes have come about as part of Broos’ team-building exercise. One of the exciting new talents on the national horizon is the 25-year-old Maswanganyi who may be considered a late developer.

On Saturday he stood out like a beacon in the Soweto derby at the FNB Stadium. He bossed the midfield battles against traditional rivals Kaizer Chiefs. He has been a consistent performer for the Buccaneers.

Maswanganyi spent his youth years as a professional footballer in Portugal, where he turned out for UD Oliveirense (Liga 2) and Academica OAF (Liga 3). At the start of the 2022/23 season, he turned out for SuperSport United, and in June 2023 he joined Pirates.

Maswanganyi’s off-the-ball play has been exceptional. He shines on attack and defence by tracking opponents and regaining possession. He is always at the heart of Pirates’ attacking sorties in his role as playmaker.

Here is a player blessed with vision and evidence of this are his killer passes which opens opposition defences. Presently there are not many who can match his creativity.

Bafana Bafana squad for Fifa break

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Grant Kekana, Terrence Mashego, Aubrey Modiba, Thapelo Morena (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thapelo Xoki (all Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Ngezana (FCSB, Romania)

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns) Sphephelo Sithole (CD Tondela, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Chippa United), Grant Margeman (SuperSport United)

Forwards: Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns) Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City), Elias Mokwena (all Polokwane City), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Mlondi Mbanjwa (AmaZulu), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Khanyiso Mayo (Cape Town City).

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