'Broos wasn't sure about Bafana Bafana squad' - Williams opens up on initial struggles by Belgian

Ronwen Williams, Bafana Bafana, March 2022Backpagepix
  • Broos has been coaching Bafana since 2021
  • Initially he struggled to get results
  • Williams explains the situation

WHAT HAPPENED: Broos was appointed South Africa coach in May 2021, taking over from Molefi Ntseki.

The Belgian tactician, who had initially coached Algerian clubs JS Kabylie and NA Hussein Dey as well as Cameroon, signed a five-year deal with Safa to coach Bafana Bafana.

Broos initially struggled, failing to help the nation qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup.

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Williams has now opened up about what was happening, especially with squad selection.

WHAT HE SAID: "It was difficult, you could see the coach wasn’t sure [about his squad] and that obviously rubbed off on us and we weren’t sure," Williams told the media.

"But in saying that, we had better results than in the World Cup qualifiers, so that’s just the spirit he has as a coach, he can play with any eleven players and make you believe you can win.

"That’s the main thing and he always tells you, you are here for a reason, I don’t give out caps for the sake of it, he says when you walk in this door, you must perform and you carry the hopes of more than 50-million people.

"So he won’t play with his job like that and ya, over the last year we’ve learned the hard way, losing to France, losing to Morocco, losing to Ghana and he felt we’re not physically strong enough and you can see now we have a bigger team," the Mamelodi Sundowns keeper continued.

"When I look back, when we won the [1996 Afcon], the squad was big, from the goalkeeper right to the striker... and coach [Broos] realised that we are a very small nation, and you can see we’re a big team now which helps."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Broos is seemingly getting it right as Bafana are unbeaten in the last year, including a very impressive 2-1 win over World Cup semi-finalists Morocco.

They also qualified for the 2023 Afcon to be held in Ivory Coast in early 2024 and Mzansi hopes the coach will be able to steer them to qualification for the 2026 World Cup.

WHAT NEXT: Broos will be looking to test combinations and tactics in the two friendlies against Namibia and DR Congo to help him start finalising his approach for Afcon where he has promised Bafana will at least reach the knockout rounds.

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