‘Mayo has to work on weakness’: Broos on Bafana snub of PSL’s top scorer

20 February 2024 - 14:14
By Sazi Hadebe
Bafana Bafana's Khanyisa Mayo is upended by Eswatini's Sifiso Matse during the international friendly at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg in October 2023.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Bafana Bafana's Khanyisa Mayo is upended by Eswatini's Sifiso Matse during the international friendly at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg in October 2023.

Khanyisa Mayo must be asking himself what more he needs to do to impress Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos.

The Cape Town City striker has been on the fringes of national selection for some time and many thought he would make the cut in the 23-man squad Broos took to the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, where the South Africans won bronze.

Mayo was the DStv Premiership's joint top scorer in 2022-23 with Peter Shalulile on 12 goals and leading the charts this season again with eight. 

Asked what more Mayo needs to do to be a regular for Bafana, Broos confided the City striker has a future with the national side but needs to improve and correct a few flaws in his games in the next two years.

Broos was asked if, at age 25, Mayo should be fully developed. The Bafana coach said there were questions about how much individual training players receive from PSL coaches to develop them and work on their flaws.

“I'm not totally convinced a 25-year-old player is totally developed — I don't agree with that,” he said.

“Again, if Mayo starts now to work on his weaknesses, he will become better. But you don't have to wait two more years because by then he will be finished.

“But it's still possible now. As a 25-year-old, normally you need to be developed. But OK, some guys [develop] later than others, while others are already developed. At 20 or 22 years, you already say, 'What a player!' But it's about talent.

“But [in the case of Mayo] there are certainly things you can work on, important things. Maybe [such improvements would come] if you have those individual training sessions [for strikers] and I think maybe here in South Africa we have to train more with individuals, certainly with younger players.” 

Broos said training focused on individuals can help in identifying shortcomings and a player with talent can improve quickly, even at an advanced age. 

“You may know that this guy is a striker but his first control is bad. OK, work on it. It doesn't mean that after training he has to go home [immediately] because he's young.

“And it's not the physical training but it's a just a technical training. And you can [progress] a lot by doing that, certainly with young boys from 20 to 22 years. Players grow faster when you do that, especially when they have the talent.

“Sometimes you think you can do individual training but the player can't be better because he doesn't have the talent, or not enough talent.”

Broos said he has not seen enough progression in Mayo's game from when he was called up in June 2022 for the squad that did duty in the 2-1 Nations Cup qualifying defeat against Morocco in Rabat.

“When we took Mayo for the first time two years ago, I said, 'Ja, we're OK [for a striker]. He can be something for Bafana'.

“And he was with us three times, but it's a pity we have to say no to Mayo — for the moment.”

Mayo will have more time to impress Broos when City meet SuperSport United in their Nedbank Cup last-32 clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday (7pm).