Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has announced his 31-man squad for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana next month. We take a look at six talking points from the Belgian's bold squad selection.
Average age: 25
From the first day of his appointment back in May, Broos made no secret of his intention to overhaul the current Bafana Bafana squad with an influx of youth. True to his word, his latest team selection has an average age of 25. The oldest player in the squad is Veli Mothwa (30) while the youngest is Ethan Brooks (19).
There is a number of new faces in the Bafana Bafana squad. The likes of Sphephelo Sithole, who plays for Belenenses FC in Portugal is amongst those who are yet to make their international debut. Meanwhile eight players have been retained from the Bafana Bafana squad that won the COSAFA cup.
No Room For Tyson, Khune, Zwane
For a long time, the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Themba Zwane and even captain Thulani Hlatshwayo have been the spine of the national team. However, under Broos the trio have been constantly overlooked, which could signal the end of their international careers as we know it.
Faith In Youth
Of the 31 players selected, eight of them have been retained from the group that did duty at the Tokyo Olympics. Not only has Broos shown belief in younger players, but he is also ensuring continuity within the national team setup.
Local > International
The squad makeup of Bafana Bafana shows that there is a dominance in terms of the players plying their trade in the domestic league. 23 of the 31 players currently play in the DStv Premiership while eight players are based overseas.
No Form, No Play
Broos has shown that he will be selecting players on merit only. This is evident in the way his squad is broken up amongst the teams in the PSL. Mamelodi Sundowns, who managed to win the DStv Premiership title last season, boasts seven players – the most of any other club – while it is unsurprising that Orlando Pirates only have one player in the national team, given their struggles of late. Kaizer Chiefs' impressive continental run ensures they have five players in the squad.
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