Home Sport Helman Mkhelele focussing on Bafana’s mental approach

Helman Mkhelele focussing on Bafana’s mental approach

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The South African men’s football team face a tricky Black Mambas outfit gunning for revenge after handsomely beating them at the semi-final stage of this very competition in Gqebherha last campaign.

Bafana Bafana players during a training session during the 2022 Hollywood bets Cosafa Cup South Africa Trainingat Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwa Mashu
Bafana Bafana players during a training session during the 2022 Hollywood bets Cosafa Cup South Africa Trainingat Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwa Mashu on the 11 July 2022. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Johannesburg – The Bafana Bafana begin the defence of their Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup title on Wednesday against Mozambique at the King Zwelithini Stadium at 5pm.

The South African men’s football team face a tricky Black Mambas outfit gunning for revenge after handsomely beating them at the semi-final stage of this very competition in Gqebherha last campaign.

Helman Mkhelele, assistant to the absent Hugo Broos has been preparing the squad ahead of an interesting week down in Durban and has revealed one of their focus points ahead of a tricky quarter final against Mozambique.

“One of the elements we focused on was the mental aspect. We made the players aware of the kind of opponent we are coming up against, a wounded side considering how we beat them in the semi-final last year,” he told Cosafa TV.

“We know for a fact that they’re more motivated so for us it was important that we counter the requisite mental preparations ahead of the game.”

Coach Broos recently dropped bombshells at a national team press conference. He questioned how it is that the SA Under-23s last played a match in July at the Olympic Games, the Under-20s have not played for two years while the Under 17s face a similar predicament, issues he will look to tackle head on.

‘Midnight express’ will lead a fairly young group of players in this year’s edition of the competition however the 52-year-old mentor relayed the thought process behind the decision they made as the technical team ahead of this tournament.

“Between me and Coach Hugo Broos, we figured that we needed to come up with a plan that not only helps us as Bafana Bafana but also one that helps the Under-23s because the Under 23s don’t have to play together before they play the Olympic qualifiers in September,” he said.

“We have also identified an opportunity to widen our selection for Bafana for when we also continue our Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Liberia also in September.”

Mkhelele has some of the best young players at his disposal with the likes of Amazulu’ Ethan Brooks, Orlando Pirate’s Boitumelo Radiopane and Stellenbosch trio of Athenkosi Mcaba, Jayden Adams and Antonio Van Wyk and has reassured that the expectations remain as high as they seek to defend their title.

“Our ultimate goal is to defend the cup but we identified an opportunity in also widening our selection pool while we’re defending our cup,” he said.

@ScribeSmiso

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