Broos has a mountain to climb in new eraThomas Kwenaite
The newly appointed South African senior national coach Hugo Broos will this week announce the squad that will feature in two FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe in Harare and Ghana at the FNB Stadium during the first week of September.
Ghana coach Charles Akonnor has already announced a 31-man star-studded side for the two matches against Ethiopia at the Cape Coast and South Africa at the FNB Stadium with only four players plying their trade in their native country while the rest play professionally out of Ghana.
Following their failure to qualify for the AFCON tournament scheduled for January in Cameroon, South Africans are calling for a clean break from the past with the team dismantled and a younger team assembled to start a new era for a country that was once voted 19th in the world and not the current 73rd where they have been wallowing in for the last decades, unable to break into the top 50!
You got to pity incoming Broos whose job is akin to holding a tiger by the tail and would be damned if he implements drastic changes and equally damned if he doesn’t break the team that failed to qualify for Cameroon, unless if he comes up with a balancing act.
One would have expected him to combine the Olympic team with the team he inherited from Molefi Ntseki, but that team was ravaged by Covid-19 induced withdrawals while some of the players selected were not released by their clubs.
There has also been very little time to cast his eye over the talent available locally due to the off-season while he must have had pretty little time to also acquaint himself with some of the local players plying their trades for various teams in Europe.
While the majority might not be setting European stages alight, one can make an argument for the inclusion of several boy’s chief among them Sphephelo “Yaya” Sithole, Thabo Cele, Kgaogelo Chauke, Kobamelo Kodisang, Luke Le Roux, Boipelo Mashigo, Tashreeq Matthews, Kwinda Netshitangani, Thibang Phete and Lebohang Phiri to mention just a few.
Of course, the buck stops with Broos whether he will be brave enough to embark on a serious rebuilding process by assembling a new squad altogether or fuse the team with inexperienced, younger brigade is his call really.
At the end of the day, South Africans need their team to qualify for global events and go there not to add up the numbers, but to compete and regain the respect we have lost on the playing fields of the world where we have become the laughing stock of football playing nations!