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Gordon Igesund yesterday defended his decision to appoint Thomas Madigage and Serame Letsoaka as his Bafana Bafana assistant coaches.
Madigage, an assistant coach at SuperSport United since 2002, will serve as Igesund’s full-time assistant, while Letsoaka will come in as an additional assistant during national team camps.
The decision to appoint Madigage does come somewhat out of the blue, with Neil Tovey the apparent front-runner ahead of yesterday’s announcement.
“Tommy was my first choice,” said Igesund yesterday.
“Tommy Madigage is without a doubt the most successful assistant coach in this country in the last 10 years.
“As a number two he is a winner, he has that mentality. He has worked for this coach and that coach and has done a fantastic job consistently.”
Madigage, a former Bafana midfielder, worked with Pitso Mosimane at SuperSport as they won the 2004 SAA Supa 8 and the 2005 Absa Cup. And he has also been ever-present under Gavin Hunt, as Matsatsantsa surged to three league titles in a row between 2007 and 2010, and lifted the 2012 Nedbank Cup, thrashing rivals Sundowns in the final.
“Tommy has had a huge role in the success of SuperSport. Without any doubt he is a very good person and a very good coach. If you make comparisons with other names he has really done a fantastic job.”
As for Letsoaka, his appointment is even more strange, as the former under-17 and under-20 coach seemed to be hanging slightly on the brink of ignominy, following the expiry of his contract as technical director at the South African Football Association.
But Igesund expressed faith in him: “Serame can add a lot of value, he has been in the structures; he’s a very good coach,” said Igesund. “He is a very good guy and very qualified.”
Igesund has also appointed Alex Heredia as his goalkeeper coach, a bit of a surprise as André Arendse’s name was heavily linked to the job.
Heredia, most recently goalkeeper coach at Platinum Stars, has been Bafana’s goalkeeping coach during the reigns of Carlos Queiroz and Stuart Baxter.