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Blom Breaks Silence On Bafana AFCON Snub

Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Njabulo Blom has for the first time commented on his snub from Hugo Broos’ final 23-man squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Blom, 24, was on Broos’ initial preliminary list but was cut from the selection by the Belgian coach after several minor issues or cases of miscommunication between the midfielder the Bafana coach.

Blom left Chiefs for St. Louis City in December 2022 and had quite an incredible breakthrough season with the new Major League Soccer franchise under South African coach Bradley Carnell.

They did break several records along the way, becoming the MLS expansion club with most wins in their debut season and also qualified for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup after winning the Western Conference.

Blom himself was quite a regular pillar in Carnell’s side, making 30 appearances for his new club. He was also part of Broos’ Bafana squad in October last year, but failed to make the final selection and now opened up on missing out on the AFCON, where his teammates finished in third place.

“It was a bit a bit hard [not to make the team] because obviously I always want to play for my national team, represent my national team,” he told St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“But if it doesn’t happen, I’m always happy to be here. And I know that back home we still have like good players, good guys that can like perform on a bigger platform like AFCON.”

Not featuring with his country at the AFCON allowed the 24-year-old to join his club’s pre-season from the get go, with Blom hoping to have an even better season than last year.

“I’m happy to be here with the guys, start the preseason a bit early,” he added.

“But obviously I always want to play for my national team, but I’m still happy to be here as early as possible, just to join the team and for the new season.

“Last year, I had a lot of injuries and obviously I had COVID, so it kind of stopped my progress.

“So I think this year, so far, so good with the preseason because I haven’t gotten any injuries. And I think everything has been going well so far. And looking forward for the season.”

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St. Louis return to action on 21 February when they will face Houston Dynamo in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, while their MLS season starts on 25 February against Real Salt Lake.

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David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.