Safa must plan long term - Fortune

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iol spt apr1 Fortune AFP Former Manchester United and Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune says South African football must improve at all levels. Photo: Rodger Bosch

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune says he’d back the appointment of Carlos Quieroz as national team coach if it happens, but feels Gordon Igesund should still be kept at the helm.

Igesund’s contract is not likely to be renewed when it expires later this year, and he may not even be on the bench for Bafana’s friendly international against Australia next month following a probe into allegations that he encouraged national team players to strike over bonuses before the African Nations Championship (Chan). Quieroz, currently head coach of World Cup-bound Iran, is one of the men earmarked for the position.

“Carlos was amazing when I played under him. He is one of the best coaches we had (at Bafana). But we have Gordon now as the coach. I don’t know how many coaches we are going to go through. The problem is deeper than Gordon, who I think is fantastic. Yes, the results have not gone his way, but was there a long term plan when we appointed Gordon? And that’s what we need to focus on.

“We can give Carlos the job but how long will we give Carlos the job? Two or three years? And then things don’t go well and we change the coach. It’s like a time bomb. And you can’t work like that. I will not point a finger at Igesund and blame him for what’s going on now,” said Fortune, who worked under Quieroz at Manchester United.

Fortune says whoever is appointed Bafana coach next, seeing that Igesund seems to be a goner, has to work on a plan with Safa to help improve the national teams, from the Under-17s right up to the senior team.

“Someone has to come in with a mindset of wanting to improve all the national teams. Generation after generation we need to see players coming through. But right now we are not producing that at the moment and things need to change. We need to develop players.

“We need to be winning tournaments, from junior level. Are we just going to play football for years and say Bafana Bafana is doing well? We need to have a plan, we need to have structures, from Under-10s until they reach the senior level.

“That’s the way forward. I would like to sit down with Safa one day and see where we can go forward. Because I don’t care about anything else, I just want to see our football improving. I am doing my coaching badges now and my dream would be to coach the national team.”

Fortune was at the Gauteng Future Champions International tournament for Under-17s last week. Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro won the competition, beating defending champions Club Tijuana on penalties at Nike Centre in Soweto on Saturday.

Mamelodi Sundowns, coached by Godfrey Sapula, were the best performing South African club, finishing in fourth place after topping their group. SuperSport United, Jomo Cosmos and Sunward Park High School could not get past the group phase. - The Star


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