Orlando Pirates star backed to replace Bafana stalwart

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has been impressed by the long-term potential of an Orlando Pirates midfielder.

Speaking to the press recently, Broos highlighted the bright future of Patrick Maswanganyi.

Broos feels that Maswanganyi could pull the strings for the national team from midfield.

Orlando Pirates star backed for bright Bafana future

Maswanganyi’s recent efforts for Orlando Pirates have only backed that up.

“So what I saw from him, and I think he can be the one for the future [to replace Themba Zwane],” said Hugo Broos, according to FARPost.

“I saw him playing on Wednesday [against Cape Town Spurs], and after the game, we talked with Helman [Mkhalele]. But then I saw him playing on Saturday [against Kaizer Chiefs], and he played a very good game.

“This is what I want to see from him in Bafana Bafana, so when he can achieve that level also with us, he can be someone for the future. He can be someone who can replace Themba [Zwane] in the future.

“I don’t think about to replace Themba now. But we have to think: Themba is nearly 35, so he will be 36 or 37 in 2026. When you’re at that age, it can happen [retirement], and then we have to be ready.

“So let’s hope that he’s [Patrick Maswanganyi] the one and that we solved that problem already for the near future.”

Focus on the future

Broos has said that he is looking to the future with this group of players.

“Certainly, I am also looking to the future. I said it already: there are a few players in our group who will be 35, 34, 36 when the FIFA World Cup is jointly hosted in Canada, Mexico and the United States of America in 2026,” he said, as per SAFA.net.

“So yes, we have to look for replacements also. Firstly, we have to see those games as an opportunity to give new players, younger players, to show if they are at Bafana Bafana level. Secondly, we are playing against two different styles of opponents. On one side, you have Andorra, and you can compare them to Namibia. So, a tough team, a team who will wait and try to be dangerous in transition.

“On the other side, you have Algeria, ranked fifth in the CAF rankings. So that means you have two different styles, and it is good for the South African senior men’s team, certainly also to play against Andorra, but certainly to play against such a good team like Algeria.

“They have a new coach, they will have new players also in their selection. So, it will be a good test for those new players who are with us to prove themselves. Therefore, those friendly games are important, and you have to get the results if you want to keep your 10th place or maybe progress even further in the CAF ranking.”

Bafana Bafana squad for Fifa break

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Grant Kekana, Terrence Mashego, Aubrey Modiba, Thapelo Morena (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thapelo Xoki (all Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Ngezana (FCSB, Romania)

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sphephelo Sithole (CD Tondela, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Chippa United), Grant Margeman (SuperSport United)

Forwards: Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City), Elias Mokwena (all Polokwane City), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Mlondi Mbanjwa (AmaZulu), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Khanyiso Mayo (Cape Town City).

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