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Safa opt for a ‘cheap option’ in Baxter

Bafana

JOHANNESBURG - Another “cheap option” for a Bafana Bafana coach! And yet we go around calling ourselves a top football nation...

Surely it is about time we accepted the reality that we are nowhere near being football’s royalty. For if we were, we wouldn’t be having Stuart Baxter returning for a second spell as coach of our senior national team coach.

Instead, we would have had a pick of either Herve Renard or his fellow Frenchman Hugo Broos taking over the post left vacant by Shakes Mashaba, the initial ‘cheap option” who was taking charge for the umpteenth time.

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Stuart Baxter Photo: EPA/TADAYUKI YOSHIKAWA

Damn, it could actually be the more pedigreed Carlos Quieroz making a return instead.

But the Safa coffers are a little on the dry side, and the decision as to who to hire has to take that into account, something top football nations never have to consider.

For them, the criterion is solely - can he take us to the next level, and if so we get him. Period.

But here at home, where the game - especially at Safa level - is yet to take on the status of a business, financial considerations always come into play.

We all know that Safa’s first choice was Quieroz,. And while it appeared they were going to be able to afford paying him, the snag came when Quieroz’s current employers Iran demanded that he be bought out.

Safa retreated from the deal, perhaps understandably so.

Next in line were the likes of Renard and Broos - and they weren't going to come cheap.

But Safa want to drive around in a Maseratti but pay Mazda prices.

And therein lies our problem.

Carlos Quieroz

Until we are in a position where our football is money-generating like the likes of Brazil who are continuously churning young talent and exporting it to the top leagues of Europe, we can forget about attracting top class coaches.

Sure Brazil have a long history of developing talent. Yet like us, they are a third world country that is not strong economically. But they have developed a model that works.

Whereas local clubs are solely concerned with doing well in the PSL - or just surviving - the Brazilians have realised the value of properly nurturing young talent.

Their local league is merely a platform for talent to showcase itself to the outside world. The huge monies European clubs pay for those youngsters is ploughed back into the clubs’ development structures and more talent gets churned out - an ever-spinning wheel.

Because of that, the national team is never short of talent to pick from.

It is about time we stopped thinking a good coach is going to sort out our national team problems. For the source of it runs much deeper than great coaching at the highest level.

We need to start treating our football as proper business - solid and working development structures, good coaching and competent administration and high class technical people at all levels. Our clubs must stop relying solely on grants, competition prize-monies and sponsors. They need to be able to generate money through developing players for export. Until then, we are going nowhere fast.

And no matter how hard we try to disguise it, ours will remain a low tier national team that will struggle to get the top coaches we seem to think we deserve. Instead we will get stuck with the likes of Baxter who let us down big time way back.

Saturday Star

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