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Five boxes the new Bafana Bafana coach must tick

FILE - SAFA presidet, Danny Jordaan. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - SAFA presidet, Danny Jordaan. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Apr 24, 2021


JOHANNESBURG - The new Bafana coach announcement, which was due to take place today, was unexpectedly delayed late last night.

But here are some items which will top the new coach’s agenda.

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After Bafana’s incredible failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next year, it’s easy to greet the incoming commander in chief with a curveball, urging him to inspire the team to the 2022 Fifa World Cup finals in Qatar.

But perhaps results should be secondary, at least for now, given that there’s still a wide gap between the junior and Bafana structures.

ALSO READ: If Pitso Mosimane doesn’t want the Bafana job, give it to Benni McCarthy

That’s why the new coach should embrace the Under-23s’ participation in the Tokyo Olympics Games this July. Young players like Teboho Mokoena and Luther Singh come to mind

If one was to re-evaluate the plan of any of the most successful nations, it will be easy to pick out that their success did not come overnight, instead they had to ensure there was a seamless bridge between the development and senior structures.

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The Federation Internationale de Football Association’s decision to allow clubs not to release players for international duty due to Covid-19 implications was odd. But it must be treated as an eye opener, with national teams strengthening their relationships with domestic clubs.

ALSO READ: Who can handle the hotseat at Bafana? Five candidates for the job

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Former Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki must feel he could have inspired the team to the Promised Land – the Afcon finals – if he had all his nine overseas-based players, instead of just five, after some of the clubs in England, Scotland, Abu Dhabi and France refused to release their players.

Locally, the national team suffered an identical fate, especially with regards to tournaments falling outside the Fifa calendar. David Notoane had to achieve the

Olympic dream the hard way after some clubs refused to release players for the Under-23 Afcon in time.

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No man is an island. But often, former Bafana coaches were lost in trying instil their philosophies, which could have been foreign, to a bunch of local players who’ve always been developed and taught football the South African way.

ALSO READ: You can’t always blame the coach, Bafana players must also take responsibility for Afcon failure, says Neil Tovey

And that is why it becomes important for the new coach, especially if he’s a foreigner and unknown on the continent, to ensure that one of his advisors is a Bafana legend who has played the game at the highest level, locally and internationally. Names like Lucas Radebe and Quinton Fortune come to mind.

You see, that the only Bafana Afcon winning coach in 1996, Clive Barker, is a South African shouldn’t be taken for granted. After all, every footballing nation has its own culture and history which they need to persevere, and that’s still important, despite the changing of time.


Recently, it was appalling to see some of the players getting regular call-ups to the Bafana squad merely because of experience, while their form has declined and have fallen down the pecking order at club level in the last few seasons.

That showed that the reigning coach didn’t trust the ample talent the nation has at its disposal.

ALSO READ: Safa must beg Pitso Mosimane to come back

Let’s face it, for every Bafana player to have had a cap(s) for the senior national team, a certain coach must have believed in them for the breakthrough.

But so often, it appears that the former coaches – notably Stuart Baxter and Molefi Ntseki – always believed that players who’ve served the national team in the past are still the future, as they were hesitant to take a gamble on the young blood.


Safa will have a list of their mandates regarding what the new coach should have achieved in his first 12 months at the helm, but it’s always paramount that the new man has his own. After all, this is not only the association’s journey but his as well.

Most coaches are so cooped up in the employer’s plans that they forget that they also need to add invaluable information to their own CV’S.

And that’s why they are sacked at the mere basis of not qualifying for a major tournament, while the resources may have been inadequate.


IOL Sport

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