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Broos sticks with the tried and tested

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Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos
FILE – Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has not surprised anyone with his latest national team selection as he prepares for the friendlies against Guinea and France.

Johannesburg — Hugo Broos has continued to establish himself as a man of honour in South African football. In his recent provisional squad for the back-to-back friendlies against Guinea and France later this month, he has opted for form rather than experience.

But that was not a surprise. The first time Broos faced the local media after his shock appointment last year he made it clear that he wants to rebuild. This feat would see him select youngsters mostly, while the seniors had to fight twice as hard for a spot

Those words brought a huge sigh of relief to the nation and positivity to many hopefuls. Such that Broos became a fan-favourite especially after nearly achieving the improbable by leading the team to the play-off qualifiers of the World Cup.

But project rebuild has to continue as Bafana are eyeing the next continental and global tournaments. And everyone has to work hard to get in the team, including captain Ronwen Williams if he’s going to cement his place as the side’s No. 1.

There are four keepers into the pre-squad, including Kaizer Chiefs’ Brandon Petersen. Petersen has kept three clean sheets in his last four games. And that’s why he’ll likely be in the team that will face Guinea and France, the world champions.

But perhaps, where Broos got it wrong was with Siyanda Xulu. Xulu has the experience given numerous stints locally and abroad but he’s only played two games this year, while there are reports that he’s been frozen out of the team in Israel.

Bandile Shandu and Khuliso Mudau’s first call-ups were well deserved. The two wing-backs have been on form for Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns. So much so that they’ve been chipping in with the goals and assists as well.

Seeing Goodman Mosele back in the squad was appealing, given that the last time Broos called up the Pirates’ midfield he did not report for camp, while he didn’t inform the team about his whereabouts. A feat that Broos didn’t take kindly.

Ethan Brooks had a decent start to life at Bafana. But did he deserve to even make the cut in the pre-squad? I doubt it. Galaxy coach Sead Ramovic hasn’t been happy with him either, saying he has to work for his place like everyone else.

Such that it was embarrassing for the midfielder when he substituted before half-time in their 3-0 defeat to Sundowns for the young Aphelelo Teto. Marumo Gallants’ ace Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo should have been considered in lieu of Brooks.

Percy Tau was a given. But every discerning fan must be happy to see Fagrie Lakay back in the Bafana set-up especially after his seamless adaptation in Egypt where he’s on the books of Pyramids who are also playing continental football.

Lyle Foster has had a great start to the new year after grabbing one goal and two assists for Westerlo in Belgium. But he’ll have to grab this opportunity with both hands if he makes the final squad, considering his disappointing outings before.

Bafana Bafana 29-man preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Brandon Peterson, Bruce Bvuma, Veli Mothwa.

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie, Siyanda Xulu, Terrence Mashego , Nkosinathi Sibisi, Sbonelo Cele, Veluyeke Zulu, Rushine De Reuck, Lyle Lakay, Khuliso Mudau, Rivaldo Coetzee, Bandile Shandu, Athenkosi Mcaba.

Midfielders: Pule Mmodi, Ethan Brooks, Keagan Dolly, Teboho Mokoena, Goodman Mosele, Thabang Monare, Mduduzi Mdantsane.

Forwards: Percy Tau, Fagrie Lakay, Evidence Makgopa, Victor Letsoalo, Lyle Forster, Bongokuhle Hlongwane

@Mihlalibaleka

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