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Broos' Bafana show signs of hope, but new coach needs time

Hugo Broos, coach of Bafana Bafana celebrates beating Ghana
(Image credit: Backpagepix)

New Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos may have got his reign off to a good start but, with the Belgian looking to build a young side, there will be inconsistencies. He needs to be given time otherwise his appointment will have been pointless, writes FourFourTwoSA's DEAN WORKMAN.

The South Africans got their Qatar 2022 final World Cup-qualification campaign under way with an away 0-0 draw with Zimbabwe and a 1-0 home win over Ghana.

Broos managed to produce these results with a young squad, having decided to leave the likes of Themba Zwane, Bongani Zungu and Lebogang Phiri out of the squad despite their constant presence in the recent past.

Instead, Ethan Brooks, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Evidence Makgopa, Gift Links, Njabulo Blom, Teboho Mokoena and Rushine De Reuck are now all playing major roles.


Sipho Mbule celebrates victory with Bongokuhle Hlongwane of Bafana Bafana during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Ghana

(Image credit: Backpagepix)

Broos also has seemingly picked a squad not based on which clubs the players turn out for on a weekly basis, with several of the players in his last squad plying their trade for so-called lesser clubs in the DStv Premiership.

While there are plenty of positives that come with a young squad, such as fearlessness and a hunger to work hard, there are also some pitfalls – the biggest one being inconsistency.

Broos is no stranger to building a young side. He, of course, took a young Cameroon star to Africa Cup of Nations glory in 2017 despite seven players refusing the call-up to play at the tournament, including Liverpool centre back Joel Matip and West Brom full back Allan Nyom who opted to stay with their clubs.

This is the reason Broos was brought into the national team set-up – to build a team for the future.

However, the powers that be at Safa House are renowned for making rash decisions. This is something they now need to avoid at all costs if the Broos experiment were to have any chance of success.

“I was a little bit surprised when I saw the selections of the last games, that there were so many players of the age of 30 and more,” said Broos at his unveiling as new coach.

“I think we have to rebuild the team and build a younger team. I can give you the example of Cameroon. I did the same there, I worked with young players. Young players are motivated and hungry.

“I myself was a player, when you reach 30 you know motivation is less. After South Africa did not qualify for Afcon next year, this is the moment to rebuild the team.”

And a rebuild is well and truly under way. It may, however, take a little time and, while results in the present are important, building for the future remains more so and is something the South African national team has not done for a while.