New Bafana coach Broos makes his intentions clear: 'we have to rebuild the team – a younger team'

Belgium coach Hugo Broos is the new Bafana Bafana head coach.
Belgium coach Hugo Broos is the new Bafana Bafana head coach.
Image: Frank Abbeloos/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

New Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has made his intention clear that he intends to introduce younger blood to the national team to rebuilding a competitive team.

Broos‚ the 69-year-old Belgian who won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with a young Cameroon‚ said he would aim to replicate that blueprint with Bafana. Broos was speaking via a digital platform at the announcement of his appointment‚ made by SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan at the SA Broadcasting Corporation in Auckland Park on Wednesday.

Broos said Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2021 Nations Cup‚ which cost predecessor Molefi Ntseki his job‚ presented the ideal opportunity to rebuild. He cautioned that such a process might make it difficult for the immediate target of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“With the information I have received and analysis I made in the last few weeks‚ I think it’s the moment to build a new team in South Africa‚” Broos said.

“I was a bit surprised when I saw in the selections of the last games that there were so many players who were 30 or more. So I think we have to rebuild the team – a younger team‚ and take the example of Cameroon.

“I did the same there. When you work with young players they are motivated‚ and hungry to show something.

“So I think that‚ after South Africa did not qualify for the Afcon‚ this is the moment to start to rebuild a younger team‚ who may have some difficulties to qualify for the next World Cup‚ but will be ready maybe to play an important role one year later in Afcon [2023 in Ivory Coast].”

With the 2022 World Cup qualifiers starting in early June – though indications are this may also be postponed to September – Broos has limited time to undergo a crash course on SA football.

He indicated he would consult his “South African assistant”‚ though Safa could not confirm in Wednesday’s announcement whether this would be Ntseki.

“It’s very important that I can come to South Africa as soon as possible‚ and that I can have meetings with my South African assistant. Because he has all the information that I need for the moment‚” Broos said.

“I will also look at several games South Africa played in the last few months‚ and with all that we will analyse what we have to do.

“There were some things that were a bit surprising looking at this past qualification campaign‚ such as it was very difficult for the team to keep a clean sheet. Except against Sao Tome‚ in the other games they always conceded a goal. In some games they conceded in the beginning of the game.

“This is something we have to work on. But there are many other things. I will try to be there next week‚ and have meetings on what we have to do in the next month.

“We will do everything to qualify for the World Cup next year. But it can be a deception if we don’t‚ because when you are starting to rebuild a team it needs time.”

A 1970s and 1980s defender who earned 24 caps for Belgium‚ Broos played for RSC Anderlecht and Club Brugge.

Coaching Club Brugge he won league titles in 1991-92 and 1995-96‚ the Belgian Cup twice‚ and Belgian Supercup four times. He won the 2003-04 league title with Anderlecht.

From there his teams coached included Trabzonspor in Turkey‚ JS Kabylie and NA Hussein Dey in Algeria‚ and Cameroon from 2016 to 2017. Most recently he was sports director‚ then caretaker-manager of Oostende in Belgium between 2018 and 2019.

Broos was sacked as coach of the Indomitable Lions by the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) in December 2017‚ 10 months after he led them to their fifth Nations Cup title in Gabon that year‚ reportedly over pay issues. Cameroon beat Egypt 2-1 in the 2017 Nations Cup final.