Former Bafana Bafana striker Katlego “Killer” Mphela is another legend who is baffled that national coach Hugo Broos keeps overlooking Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Andile Jali.
Mphela asked how can a player who is nominated for five domestic awards this season is still overlooked by the former Cameroon coach?
The former Sundowns striker said Broos is also confused because he said he will rebuild the squad, but he is still calling up players who are in their 30s such as Thabang Monare of Orlando Pirates.
Jali has been the head and shoulders above the other midfielders this season, and was nominated for the PSL Footballer of the Year, Players’ Player of the Season, Midfielder of the Season, MTN8 Last Man Standing, and Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament.
Jali was left out of the Bafana preliminary squad that will face Morocco away on 9 June and Zimbabwe four days later at FNB Stadium, when the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers kick-off.
“When this coach came he said he wanted youngsters but every time when he announces his squad, there’s always conflict in whatever he says,” said Mphela, who scored 23 goals in 53 appearances for Bafana.
“It seems like it’s personal now, especially for Andile Jali. Jali is performing week in and week out. If you say he doesn’t suit your style or system, then that’s fine. But don’t say he played before and we didn’t qualify (for tournaments) and why must I call him. But we also didn’t qualify for the World Cup (without Jali).”
Broos said he would not call Jali now because he didn’t need him during the World Cup qualifiers.
“But I think the way he’s putting it, it was unprofessional,” added Mphela.
“But I did say before we played against Ghana (the last match of the Afcon qualifiers), if you go to Ghana, you need people like Jali who will fight for you. Because if you check the position he plays, tell me one player that plays like Andile?”
The 32-year-old Jali, who has accumulated 45 caps and scored five goals, last played for Bafana against Ghana last March in the failed Afcon qualifying tournament under Broos’ predecessor Molefi Ntseki. Jali will get a chance to add to his colourful career when Downs meet Marumo Gallants in the Nedbank Cup final at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday (6pm)