Broos sees Maswanganyi as a possible long term replacement for Zwane

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos believes that Orlando Pirates exciting attacker Patrick Maswanganyi has got what it takes to be Themba Zwane’s replacement in the long run.

Broos commented after announcing the latest 23-man squad to play Andorra and Algeria in the newly created FIFA Series international friendlies, at the SABC studios on Monday afternoon.

Maswanganyi is one of the 10 changes to the team that finished third at the recently concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Côte d’Ivoire.

Broos sees Maswanganyi as a possible replacement for Zwane in the long term.”Maswanganyi, what I saw from him – I think he can be the one for the future. I saw him play on Wednesday and had a chat with Helman. I saw him play again on Saturday, he played a very good game, this is what I want to see from him for the national team – if he achieves at this level with us, he can be someone that can replace Themba for the future,” said Broos.

Since last year, Broos has been talking about identifying a long-term replacement for Zwane (34), a player who can easily make things happen for the team when needed. Maswanganyi, who hails from Tembisa just like Zwane fits that profile according to the Belgian-born mentor.

”I don’t think about him, I don’t think about replacing Themba now. But we must think, Themba is 35, he will be 37 in 2006, so we have to be ready – and hope that Maswanganyi is the one and will solve that problem for the future,” added Broos.

At the age of 25 but yet to make his debut at international level, Broos still feels that Maswanganyi, the former SuperSport United player who also had a short stint in Portugal, is at the right age to make his mark at this level.

”Ok, 25, this is the guy for the next seven years, if he is good enough, he should be good for 2006. I prefer the younger guys, this is the future,” he concluded.

In the past Bafana Bafana has had a problem of late bloomers, players who were introduced to international football at a very late stage.This is one of the reasons Broos is trying by all means not to wait for players until they are 28 or 29 to have a taste of international football. But Broos has also praised coaches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for introducing more young players to their playing squads in the last 18 months in particular.

The former KV Oostende and Club Brugge Technical Director feels that in the long run, this could benefit South African football.

(story credit: SABC Sport)

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