Baxter linked to Safa job

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iol spt july24 Baxter Gallo Images Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter appeared to leave the door open to take on Safas Technical Director role. Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter yesterday appeared to leave the door open to take on Safa’s Technical Director role, as he described the vacant job as “interesting” and “massive”.

Baxter has been linked with the technical director job for a couple of months now and, while manager Bobby Motaung said Amakhosi are yet to be approached by the association for their coach’s services, the former Bafana Bafana mentor gave the impression he has been contacted.

“I think the job is interesting. We are in a situation where speculation picks up speed and it gets ahead of other people. And what we have tried to do is make sure we have a clear assessment of exactly what the situation is. And I think you will all understand that those discussions were between me and my employer because I am the coach of Kaizer Chiefs and therefore I respect my employer. The technical director job in any country is an important job. It would be an honour to be mentioned in any country, especially the country I am working in. That is an objective assessment. That is not a job application,” said Baxter, who worked as Bafana coach between 2004 and 2005.

“I think the job is interesting because it is so massive. On the other hand, there are a few thoughts and I am sure over the next few days they will bounce backwards and forwards.”

Baxter, a former England Under-19 coach, has always been passionate about youth development and tried to get a proper youth structure going when he was Bafana coach, but was never taken seriously.

“I’ve worked with Safa and it was very difficult to drive through some of the policies I wanted to drive through, so that’s the reality. Have things changed? I don’t know. If they have changed, then maybe the person who goes in will drive through his policies,” said Baxter, who was handed a two-year contract extension by Chiefs last season.

Amakhosi, meanwhile, are yet to confirm whether or not they will play in the Caf Champions League next year. South Africa have been allocated two spots for next year’s competition, and as runners-up, Amakhosi are expected to play in the continent’s biggest club competition. Should they decide not to play in the competition, they are likely to face a ban, which would not be a first for the club.

Bobby Motaung, Amakhosi’s football manager, said: “Our deadline with Safa and Caf is only in September. We are not in a rush, there is no pressure. Just wait for us to deal with this matter and then we will come back to you.” - The Star

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