‘Stubborn’ Broos perfect fit for Bafana, Shabba feels

Hugo Broos remains the right man for the Bafana Bafana job, says former South African striker Siphiwe Tshabalala. | BackpagePix

Hugo Broos remains the right man for the Bafana Bafana job, says former South African striker Siphiwe Tshabalala. | BackpagePix

Published May 21, 2024


Smiso Msomi

Former Bafana Bafana winger Siphiwe Tshabalala has thrown his weight behind national team head coach Hugo Broos and has praised his authoritative coaching style.

After a turbulent first two years as the leader of the South African football side in which he divided opinions among supporters and publicly challenged Safa, Broos has become somewhat of a darling of the nation after his team’s exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Bafana were undoubtedly the surprise package at the Afcon as they ground out a third-place finish, their highest finish in the competition for over 24 years. The 71-year-old Belgian mentor has unveiled a new-look Bafana seemingly ready to run through walls at his command.

Ronwen Williams. | BackpagePix

Tshabalala, who made 85 appearances for the national team between 2006 and 2017 and participated in four Afcon tournaments, believes that Broos’ hardcore and headstrong attitude has been key in awakening the sleeping giant that is Bafana.

In an exclusive interview with Independent Newspapers, the former Kaizer Chiefs star expressed that Broos’ ability to withstand external pressures makes him the perfect candidate for Bafana.

“What I like about Broos is that he’s stubborn. If he believes in something, he’ll stick to it and he goes with it, and you respect someone like that, someone with a backbone and someone who will also take accountability,” he said.

“Now his decisions have paid off and people have a decent perspective about him, there’s more belief than doubt in his abilities and that’s what Bafana needed.”

Broos named a largely changed 23-man squad for the last international break as Bafana took on Andorra and Algeria.

Siphiwe Tshabalala. | BackpagePix

However, ahead of their 2026 World Cup Qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Broos has recalled the likes of Percy Tau, Mothobi Mvala and Khuliso Mudau into the 36-man preliminary squad that will be trimmed to 23 this week.

Broos has shown faith in Ronwen Williams by appointing him as captain, as well as in the likes of Mvala and midfielder Teboho Mokoena who feature regularly for him. Tshabalala believes having key figures within the Bafana structure will aid Broos’ continuous development of the squad.

“He’s got a core now (and) when you have a core then it’s easier to build something, you just add here and there and move your project up, and for him to be successful, his players will need to help him as well by performing at their respective clubs every week and also know that the national team is a different level. Once that is done then we’ll have a sustainable team again.”

“Post the Afcon we played Algeria and we played very well and just based on that I know we’re gonna beat Nigeria.”

Bafana face Nigeria’s Super Eagles away from home in Uyo on Friday, June 7, and then return to host Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, June 11.