Stuart Baxter watches over a training session at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has implemented a system which will give younger coaches a chance to attend the national side's training camps so that they can develop their skills.

In the absence of his assistant, Thabo Senong, who is due to leave for Holland to attend a coaching course, Baxter will be assisted by Amajimbos Under-17 coach Molefi Ntseki. 

Amajita's Under-20 assistant coach Helman Mkhalele has also been brought in as an observer and he is also expected to gain more experience.

Initially, the plan was for Rhulani Mokwena from Orlando Pirates to be invited but that did not materialise.

Bafana are in camp in Polokwane and had their first training on Sunday, preparing for the 2018 Cosafa Cup which kicked off on Sunday at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

South Africa will not be in action until their quarterfinal clash on Sunday when they face the winners of Group A. 

As one of the seeded teams, they had a bye in the first round.

“One of the things we wanted to implement going forward is that one of the younger coaches will be invited to attend the camp, no so much to be an assistant coach but will do so for his own development," Baxter said.

"Hopefully every camp going forward there will such an arrangement with other coaches. As for Ntseki, he has been working very well with the Under-17s and he also knows the younger players as well.”

All the players reported for national team duty on the first day, something that pleased Baxter who has commended the clubs for their co-operation.

The Bafana mentor recalled the same period last year when he had to prepare a squad for the Cosafa Cup, the Chan qualifiers as well as the World Cup qualifiers.

“The clubs have been excellent and very accommodating. And they have respected us for taking the route we took. The squad that we have is a very balanced one and it’s all thanks to the clubs,” added Baxter.

“Last year was a nightmare and it was extremely difficult to have a strategy. You had to shoot from the hip. This feels like we are putting in place some principles that we want. 

"I think it’s important that we look at this as a good partnership with the clubs and the national team in terms of developing players - it is very important for South African football.”

The Bafana mentor said they need to make good use of the Cosafa Cup tournament. South Africa was last in competitive action in December 2017 when they faced Senegal in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

“It is important to get results, but it is equally important that we get as much information as we can to move forward. 

"We have an interesting squad and if we can prepare well I think we can get some good results and hopefully after this we can enhance the squad for the upcoming Afcon qualifiers,” said Baxter.

“The squad there will be massively different as it will reflect that we are in the process of changing the guard, but the actual starting team may not be that hugely different.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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