After Foster’s Burnley return, Broos to reach out again on Bafana future

Lyle Foster in action for Burnley in their Premier League match against Brentford at Turf Moor in Burnley on Saturday.
Lyle Foster in action for Burnley in their Premier League match against Brentford at Turf Moor in Burnley on Saturday.
Image: Barrington Coombs/ PA/ Backpagepix

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos wants to speak to Burnley in the coming weeks regarding Lyle Foster’s status with the national team, with an eye to having the striker back for big World Cup qualifying games in June.

Broos — preparing for Bafana’s friendly on Thursday in Annaba, Algeria, against Andorra — said he might use a trip home to Belgium as an opportunity to hop over the English Channel, watch Foster play and meet the player and Burnley manager Vincent Kompany.

The 23-year-old Orlando Pirates youth product withdrew from contention for the Africa Cup of Nations, where Bafana had a best finish in 24 years with a bronze medal last month, due to spending seven weeks out at Burnley while receiving treatment for mental health issues.

However, Broos was irked the player managed some full games for his club before the Nations Cup started in January.

Foster was injured again and needed surgery for a “chronic issue” in mid-February, spending another month out. The striker returned to action earlier than expected as an 88th-minute substitute in the Clarets’ 2-1 home win against Brentford at Turf Moor on Saturday. Stoppage time ran well over 10 minutes.

“I saw he played, I think, 10 minutes on Saturday so that means his injury problems are over,” Broos said.

“I will try to have contact in the next days and weeks with Kompany and maybe I can go [to the UK] when I am in Belgium, to see a game of Burnley and talk to Foster and Kompany and see what we can expect from him for the future, certainly looking at the games in June.”

Kompany was pleased to have Foster back, specially given the forward he replaced, David Fofana, is not available from Burnley’s next game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on March 30 as he is barred from playing against the club from which he is on loan.

“It’s another luxury, finally. It’s crucial for us,” Kompany said via the Burnley Express.

“You see Fofana was probably gassed out towards the end [against Brentford] and being able to bring Lyle on with new energy, fresh energy, legs, threat, it’s so important for us.

“At times this season, due to injuries and other stuff, we’ve lost a lot of big players but towards the end hopefully they’ll all come back.”

Foster, who has four goals in 15 Premier League games and none in two cup matches, has been a crucial player when fit in promoted Burnley’s desperate attempt to escape the relegation zone.

The three points gained against Brentford left Kompany’s side on 17 points in second-last place, three above last-placed Sheffield United.

Above the Clarets, 18th-placed Nottingham Forest have 21 points and 17th-positioned Luton Town have 22. The bottom three are relegated.

Bafana meet Andorra at in the new Fifa Series of invitational friendly games at Stade du 19 Mai 1956 on Thursday and Algeria at Stade de Nelson Mandela in Algiers on Tuesday (both 11pm SA time).

The South Africans are using the games as preparation for their 2026 World Cup group E qualifiers against Nigeria away and Zimbabwe at home in June.


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