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Broos – Why I Called Up Pirates Starlet Mofokeng

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has explained why he named Orlando Pirates sensation Relebohile Mofokeng in his 23-man squad that will face Nigeria and Zimbabwe in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in June.

Broos announced the full squad on Thursday afternoon, and there were a few new faces including the Pirates starlet.

This comes a few days after the 19-year-old was nominated for the DStv Premiership Young Player of the Season award after a stellar season with the Buccaneers.

Mofokeng played 37 matches in all competitions, scoring four goals, and contributed six assists. His performance didn’t go unnoticed by Broos.

The Belgian mentor praised Mofokeng, and affirmed that he has been monitoring the Sharpeville-born talent, and that he thinks now is the right time to make him part of the squad.

“With young players, you have to always be a little bit careful from the first moment when he played for Pirates everybody saw that ‘okay wow’ that’s a guy with quality,” Broos said on SABC Sport.

“You can have a very good period and a down period but with him there was no down period every game he was there.

“He has something, you can’t explain it, but he is always there. He is not only doing his offensive work his also doing defensive work. We not asking for defending and tackling no, positioning he is good.

“We analyzed him very well. I think it would be crazy for me not to take him with us now. Even if he is only 19, even if he doesn’t have international experience but one day he will have to take the international experience we will see.

“He will not be with us a standard player maybe when things don’t go well in a game, you can put him in the last 20 minutes maybe he is some guy who can force something.”

Mofokeng joined the Mayfair-outfit from the Transnet School of Excellence in 2022 for their junior side before being promoted to the first team last year.

Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco is one of South Africa's brightest up-and-coming football journalists. Makonco shot to prominence on social media as a reliable source for South African football news and transfer stories, and is currently working as a junior journalist at iDiski Times.