News Matches
South Africa

Broos’ Bafana Bafana selection praised: ‘Unlike when only Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs players were picked' - Lekgwathi

5:58 PM IST 23/12/22
Hugo Broos Bafana
Former Orlando Pirates star Lucky Lekgwathi has praised Hugo Broos’ selection policy for Bafana Bafana.
  • Lekgwathi convinced by Broos’ choices
  • Says Bafana on right track under Broos
  • Praised for looking past Chiefs & Pirates stars

WHAT HAPPENED? According to Lekgwathi, the Belgian coach has been doing a good job as he calls up players based on their performances.

The praise comes at a time when the former Cameroon tactician has been criticised, especially after initially overlooking Mamelodi Sundowns’ Themba Zwane.

Broos’ failure to consider Andile Jali – Zwane’s Masandawana teammate – for national assignments has also been a source of consistent criticism.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "I think the team is coming along very well, especially with the new coach," said Lekgwathi.

"He [Broos] doesn’t select players because of their names, but he selects them according to their performances.

"If you look at the most recent squad, you had a player like [Zakhele] Lepasa, who is doing well for Pirates and was selected. He wouldn’t have been there if players were picked based on reputation.

"There’s also a player like Miguel Timm, who did well since joining Pirates and he also deserved a call-up, which he rightfully got.

We saw how he handled the Themba Zwane situation. He didn’t let the pressure get to him. He gave the player a chance to impress, and he was happy to swallow his pride and admit that he needed him.

"It’s not just these players but many more. You look at the boy who used to play for Maritzburg United, [Bongokuhle] Hlongwane.

"He picked him when few people knew him, and now he is in the USA and arguably the best player for Bafana."

WHAT IS MORE: Unlike during his playing days when he felt only players from the Soweto giants were selected for Bafana, Lekwagthi says Broos’ selection method gives hope to footballers from other teams.

"This should be an indication to other players that the door is open, regardless of who you are. If you perform, then you can play for your country," he concluded.

"That’s what I like about this new coach. He selects based on performance, unlike that generation of ours where you were only selected because you play for Kaizer Chiefs or Pirates. Now you have to work for your place in the team."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While dealing with criticism, Broos has guided South Africa to three friendly wins over Sierra Leone, Botswana, and Mozambique, while they managed a draw against Angola in September and November.

However, a bigger test lies ahead, as he is expected to help the 1996 continental champions qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast.

WHAT NEXT FOR BROOS? Bafana will play Liberia in March 2023 for an Afcon qualifier.