Durban: Newly elected Safa president Danny Jordaan’s ascendancy to the highest seat in domestic football has given former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe a glimmer of hope.
Radebe believes Jordaan, who has been five days in office, can turn around the hopes of the country whose football has been on a downward spiral for years now. Radebe expects the well-known administrator to make much-needed changes to the landscape of domestic football.
“Danny has great experience. I have worked with him before. We have shared ideas. With politics of this game, you never know. They may say one thing but do another. I believe in Danny that he will make some changes, right changes that will take our football forward,” said Radebe.
The former Kaizer Chiefs skipper says there’s a need for innovation and is also of the view that former players should be roped in to make contributions in ensuring that the country’s football gets back on track.
“We need new ideas. It’s easy to talk about what we can do, but implementation is the most important thing to do. Possibly Danny will think about having some ex-players involved to bring new ideas,” Radebe said.
“We need to develop our game, especially schools and township football. Development, academies and ex-players should be some of the focus for Danny. We need to sit down one on one and see how we can improve the game. Since Danny has been at the helm, I think he is capable of that. We are looking to hear what his vision is in terms of our game going forward.”
The national teams’ failure to qualify for tournaments and to perform impressively, provided they make the cut, calls for the country to focus on grassroots.
“We are patriotic, but we are not good enough to compete at that level. What we need is proper structure that will develop our players and make us a powerhouse. We can focus on the national team, but if we don’t have grassroots structures, I think we are still going to struggle,” said the former Leeds United defender.
“We have seen a country like Ethiopia. They don’t have facilities and resources that we have, but they play good football. Why is that? It’s because of the preparations in terms of development.”
With the 2014 World Cup dream up in smoke, the next task on Bafana’s agenda is to prepare for the next edition to be held in Russia in 2018 and Radebe is determined to make a contribution.
“I have always said I would like to come back and contribute to football. I am available and I have made them aware that I am available to contribute to the structures. Everybody wants to be a national-team coach, but I want to be in the development side of it – Under-17s and Under-20s. I would like to be in those structures to make sure that players are coming up.” - Cape Times