JOHANNESBURG – Following his appointment as Bafana Bafana’s new head coach, Stuart Baxter was forced to strike a sweet balance between two coaching jobs.
He led Bafana to their first triumph in an official match against Nigeria in a 2019 Afcon qualifier, and then made history by becoming the first coach to defend the Nedbank Cup following SuperSport United’s 4-1 thumping of Orlando Pirates last weekend.
And now in the Cosafa Cup, the Scotsman will hope to lead Bafana to their fifth title.
Stellenbosch FC midfielder Jamie Webber said he was looking forward to the experience and hopes that Bafana will go on to defend it, having won it the year before.
Bafana begin their campaign on Sunday with a match against the winners of Group A, which consists of Angola, Tanzania, Malawi and Mauritius at Royal Bafokeng Stadium (7pm kickoff).
“This call-up means a lot to me,” Webber said. “Most coaches in the country don’t like experimenting with younger players. But coach Stuart has worked in Europe before and knows (how to blend in young players with experienced ones).
"He’ll definitely try to bring that (European influence) into the Bafana squad. That’s a good thing because it will give us an opportunity to prove ourselves and gain more experience in the game."
Webber stated that he intends to use the tournament as a platform to earn a move to Europe.
“I hope this experience will give us the right exposure to possibly earn a move to go and play abroad,” Webber said.
“Some of the guys in the squad are already playing there. This is one thing I’d like to do in my young career, sooner rather than later hopefully. I want to play in Europe. I’d like to start off my career in smaller countries like Belgium or Portugal, and then later on move into bigger teams like Real Madrid or Manchester United.
“One of my coaches told me that I can make it in Germany,” Webber added. “In his reasoning, he said I know how to get the ball from the back, and move with it into the final third with such ease.
"And that’s how German football is; they win the ball at the back and move into the attacking third as quickly as they possibly can for an attack. This is something that coach Stuart has been trying to bring out of us in the past training sessions we’ve had with him.”