Neo Maema: Bafana Bafana boss Broos reveals why he keeps overlooking Mamelodi Sundowns star

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Neo Maema
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has explained that he has been overlooking Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Neo Maema due to lack of game time.
  • Bafana coach explained why he has never selected Maema
  • Broos blamed it on the player’s limited chances in the past
  • The 27-year-old has been in great form this season

WHAT HAPPENED? Maema was among on-form players who missed out on a call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad for this month’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia, having been omitted from the provisional as well as the final squad.

The midfielder has never been selected by Broos since he took over in 2021 despite showing great form for his club in the last two seasons. Maema has elevated his game in 2022-23, becoming a key player for Rhulani Mokwena’s men, who he has score six goals for, while providing four assists.

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However, that has still not been enough for Broos to consider him but while he feels the player will soon get his chance, the tactician says his omission has been down to lack of consistency at club level.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “For sure, Maema is playing better and better, since last season we follow Maema,” Broos said, as quoted by FarPost.

“But he was in and out. But now his performances are better and more stable. So, okay we will see in the future. I hope that my choices in the future will be more difficult every time because that means we have good players.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The left-footed midfielder has turned into a key creator for Sundowns this season, slotting into the No10 role in the absence of Themba Zwane, while playing as a deep-lying playmaker when ‘Mshishi’ is in the team.

His range of passing, especially in the final third, has been brilliant and he showcased that on March 2 when he provided a hat-trick of assists for Peter Shalulile’s three goals as Sundowns beat Marumo Gallants 3-1 to advance to the Nedbank Cup quarter-final.

WHAT’S NEXT? Maema can show Broos what he is missing with another masterclass in Sudan when the Brazilians tackle Al-Hilal in the Caf Champions League on Saturday.