RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 05, Steve Komphela during the Bafana Bafana press conference at Royal Marang Sports Complex on June 05, 2012 in Rustenburg, South Africa Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Steve Komphela has turned down the South African Football Association’s (Safa) technical directorship, choosing instead to stay at club football where he feels he’ll grow as a coach.

Now Safa must embark on the very arduous and long precess of identifying the right man to head the country’s football and take it forward at all levels.

Komphela lost out to Gordon Igesund for the Bafana Bafan job but his presentation during the elimination process, particularly his plans regarding how to take the local game forward, impressed the association so much that they offered him the position vacated by Serame Letsoaka whose contract expired at the end of June.

But on Wednesday, his agent said Komphela would not be working with the association, probably not in any capacity after the Free State Stars coach had been a part-time Bafana assistant as well as a caretaker following the removal of Pitso Mosimane.

“After careful consideration Steve took the view that it is best for him to remain a football coach,” said his agent, Tim Sukazi. “Steve is aspiring for a lot more to achieve as a young coach and the technical director position would have entailed everything but coaching. And in view of that, he felt it might be too early for a coach as young as he is to divorce himself from coaching.

“The game is evolving and being out of mainstream coaching might lead to him missing out on developments and he did not want that.”

Komphela will now concentrate on coaching Stars whom he transformed into a top-of-the- table side last season, Ea Lla Koto finishing sixth in the Absa Premiership and having a good run in cup competitions during which they beat both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in successive rounds.

Safa chief executive officer Dr Robin Petersen expressed disappointment at not having got their man: “Obviously it is a blow that we did not get Steve as we thought he’d be a very good candidate to help take our football forward. But we understand and respect his decision.”

Petersen said the association will now go in search of a capable candidate. “What we’re looking for is the head of football, the position covers both elite football and development. So we want someone with a vision for both, someone who will be able to work with the elite coaches as well as identify young talent, and who knows how to groom that talent for the elite level.” – The Star