Be Brave - Ntseki needs our support to succeed
JOHANNESBURG - Be brave!
That’s Owen da Gama’s advice to Molefi Ntseki, who has been appointed Bafana Bafana coach on a permanent basis.
The two worked together in guiding the Under-23 national team to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The qualifiers of that tournament, the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), was the third Afcon Ntseki was involved in with the national team, having done so with the Under-17s and Under-20s.
He completed the quartet of Afcons by going to Egypt with Bafana as Stuart Baxter’s assistant. Ntseki was the logical choice having worked with the national teams since 2009 and offering an element of continuity having deputised for Baxter, Shakes Mashaba and Da Gama.
“He must use the PSL and NFD coaches as part of his technical team because we will support him 100 percent,” Da Gama said. “As long as he keeps that open line, he must understand that we are there to support him. Nomakanjani!
“We are there to support him through thick and thin. All I can say is that he mustn’t put himself under pressure. He must start afresh now. I have spoken to him a couple of times.
“I told him don’t just fall into the same pattern, be brave and select the team that you think is right. Don’t just sit on the fence and use the same systems and the same team (as his predecessors). You’re a qualified coach. You’re a talented coach, do what you think is best and we will support you 100 percent.”
Ntseki will start his tenure on Saturday in an international friendly against Zambia in Lusaka.
The team reported for camp yesterday and they will start their training today in Germiston before they fly to Zambia on Thursday.
Ntseki has already started on a good note by showing transparency in his squad announcement, naming a strong team that shows he is prepared to be his own man instead of being weighed down by the shadow of his predecessor. Da Gama is of the view that Bafana coaches don’t get enough support, calling for that to change if Ntseki is to be a success.
“There more support a coach gets, the better he works and the harder he works,” Da Gama said. “If you work with a free mind, you can achieve miracles because there are a lot of good coaches in this country. Support is key. Once you support the coach, there are no excuses to fail. I just hope and I pray that Safa gives Ntseki all the support that he needs to succeed. They must not put things in place for him to fail.”
The South African Football Association (Safa) was quick to announce Ntseki as coach on a fulltime basis. They met their target of announcing Baxter’s replacement in September with 2021 Afcon qualifiers in NovemberBafana will start those qualifiers away against Ghana and then host Sudan.
“I am very, very happy for Ntseki,” Da Gama said. “I am happy that it’s a South African. That’s all I have been praying for.”