Shakes Mashaba must surround himself with ‘experts’ if he is to have a successful tenure as Bafana Bafana coach, according to Thado Dladla.
“Shakes is a very good leader, there can be no denying that. And I’d suggest he must be like a CEO of the squad and find people who will do specific jobs for him. He must avoid just having assistants for the sake of it,” says Dladla who is one of very few people who know the coach that is Mashaba very well, having worked as his assistant at both national under-20 and under-23 level.
And with Mashaba set to choose his technical team for his four-year tenure as the boss of the country’s senior national team, Dladla believes ‘businesslike’ would be the best way to go about the task.
“In business, CEO’s don’t know everything but they are the overall leaders. They hire people who are experts in different fields and they overlook the work being done because they are good leaders.
“That’s how I think Shakes should tackle this very tough task he has taken on.
“Football has four main aspects to it; technical, tactical, physical and psychological and Shakes must get experts in all those four areas to work with him.
“Having worked with him, I know just how inspirational he can be for a team and should he get specialists for all these aspects, his job will be half done. He really needs people who will do specific jobs and not just be called assistants.”
Mashaba, himself, has already voiced his concerns regarding the players’ technical abilities – the coach lamenting the poor finishing that is a scourge of the local Premiership in particular.
“That is something that needs someone with technical expertise to pass on to a player. And I wonder if we have that here at home. Our players need to know what elements are involved in passing. They need to know what it means when we talk of finishing or the goalkeeper distributing possession. All those are very technical aspects of the game.”
Dladla, who now works as a sports officer at the Durban University of Technology, would not be drawn into suggesting names or comment on those mentioned over the weekend – such as Khabo Zondo and Owen da Gama who have been working with Mashaba in the Nedbank Cup Ke Yona Team search for the past two seasons. He is concerned, however, at the very poor technical levels of the country’s players and wonders whether there is anyone locally who can remedy the situation.
“The fact that we have not transferred players to top overseas leagues or clubs in many years and that we have not had an 18-year-old of quality break into the PSL is a source of worry. When I watched the recent under-19 international tournament that took place in Durban we were exposed as to just how far behind we are from the rest of the world.
Our boys were no match for the likes of Benfica whose players already looked like the finished item.”
It is this lack of proper development that Dladla says Mashaba will have to contend with, although in his position he shouldn’t.
“As the head coach he cannot be working on developing players technically, that is something players who get to the senior national team must long have. But currently we just don’t have that because we are too focused on competitions, even at junior level where this development should be happening,” said Dladla who is renowned for having helped unearth and groom most of the talent that has hailed from Maritzburg – Mbulelo Mabizela, Bryce Moon and Andile Cele among them.
Repeated calls to Mashaba yesterday were left unanswered. - The Star