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Why Bafana Players Are Ready To Die For Hugo

Bafana Bafana making a run towards the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations has seen many players come out and hail the influence of head coach Hugo Broos.

Evidence Makgopa was one of the most criticised players at Orlando Pirates and upon his recall to the Bafana squad to lead the line in the absence of Lyle Foster and Lebo Mothiba.

Broos has stuck to his guns and before the Cape Verde clash, they lanky striker said he’ll play with his whole heart and give everything to the coach, who’s shown his belief in him and handed him his senior international debut back while he was on the books of Baroka.

“I think the edge is within the unity, the togetherness, the fighting spirit within the group, I think we’ve been with this group for almost two years now,” Nkosinathi Sibisi told iDiski Times when asked about the fondness amongst the players for Broos.

“As the coach mentioned, this is not just a bunch of guys coming together, it’s a team you have here, we just need to believe in ourselves and believe in our capabilities.

“With the coach, he’s one of the most honest coaches I’ve ever worked with, if the thing is black, it’s black, if it’s white it’s white – there’s no grey in between.

“So I think for everyone to want to die for him on the field of play, it’s the confidence he’s shown within the group, within the players, like you’ve mentioned there’s been comments on social media but he’s ignored that and stuck to what he believed in and the guys are repaying him for the faith he has in us.”

Bafana have now kept four consecutive clean sheets with the back five of Ronwen Williams. Khuliso Mudau, Mothobi Mvala, Grant Kekana and Aubrey Modiba, in a tournament where one of the main concerns from outsiders was the defensive strength.

Sibisi denies it’s been an overnight success, but rather working together in the tactical system, which has been able to grow due to the Sundowns connection and Broos be able to spend more time with the squad during the month in Ivory Coast so far.

“It’s not all of a sudden, we’ve been playing more and more as a group, so I think the understanding is there with one another, I think it’s been easy for each and every one of us, when we get a chance to showcase our talent, and able to defend,” Sibisi said.

“When we’re defending, we’re not only defending ourselves, we’re also defending our country as well.”

South Africa take on Nigeria in the AFCON semi-final on Wednesday at Stade Bouake (19h00).

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.