Zimbabwe: Bafana Coach Sets Pace, Names Wc Squad

SOUTH Africa coach, Hugo Broos, has set the pace for his Zimbabwean counterpart, Zdravko Logarusic after naming a 31-man squad, for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers set for early next month.

The squad is a blend of local and foreign-based professionals, including their star players Percy Tau of English Premiership side Brighton and Hove, and Siyanda Xulu of Haopel Tel Aviv FC of Israel.

The 69-year-old Belgian coach infused young blood, in line with his philosophy to rebuild a new Bafana Bafana.

South Africa are set to open their World Cup campaign against the Warriors on September 3, at the National Sports Stadium.

They will then return home for the second Group G game against Ghana on September 6 at FNB Stadium.

While Loga is still holed up in Croatia, attending to a family emergency, Broos announced his squad at SAFA House, yesterday. “Quality is important, it’s the most important thing but the mentality, and the team spirit I want to create, is also important,” Broos told the media.

“I want to build a team that is honoured to be Bafana Bafana.

“Secondly, a team that is ambitious, a team that wants to win, a team that is fighting on the field for every ball, for every metre.

“My idea, and way of working, is that we will give a chance to young players.”

Unlike Zimbabwe, who have not played domestic football in about two years, Broos had the luxury of selecting a number of local players, in his squad.

Broos also benefitted from the COSAFA Cup squad selection, and the recent participation by their national team, at the Olympics.

He rewarded some of the players who helped Bafana Bafana win the COSAFA Cup.

“We based a little bit of our selection on the COSAFA Cup. It was a fantastic tournament for South Africa,” he said.

“I saw all the games and it was a young team. It helped me a lot to know players.

“Also, the Olympics, the results were not what we expected but it was interesting to see the players and their qualities.

“We also looked at the MTN8 at the weekend and the past Bafana Bafana matches.”

The squad will be trimmed down to 23 players, before the team flies out to Harare.

“We will do everything to be in Qatar next year but, if we don’t, I think those games will be a fantastic experience for the players and that we will be more ready to qualify for AFCON in 2023,” said Broos.