Komphela would like to lead Bafana, but he's no desperate coach
DURBAN – Steve Komphela wants to coach Bafana Bafana but he won’t be bitter if he doesn’t get the job.
Bafana recently parted ways with coach Stuart Baxter, who resigned after the completion of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt where he led the nation to the quarter-finals.
Molefi Ntseki, Baxter’s right-hand-man in Egypt, was appointed as interim boss while the South African Football Association (Safa) continues with their search for the new man to take the hoteseat.
Yesterday, Komphela opened up about his desire to lead his country even though some may have reservations about his record as a coach.
“That time will come, I’m not really desperate. I know it will come across as arrogant, I’m trying to get a proper word. It should not be desperation. I’m not aggressively looking for it, if it comes, it will come. I still have a lot of time to spend in this world because in that job you get given maybe three or four years or even eight years. So, I’m not in a hurry but if given, I don’t think I will have problems. I’ve worked through the ranks, whether it was your women’s team, youth teams, small or big. I’ve tasted how South African players think,” Komphela said.
Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy have emerged as early favourites to take over from Baxter.
“I haven’t applied for the Bafana job. I’m currently at (Lamontville Golden) Arrows. I respect my current employer but again the national job is something else. It is a wish for any coach anywhere to coach his national team but I’m happy at Arrows. We have a project to look after and take care of, and it is developing quite well,” he added.
Bafana are expected to announce a new coach at the end of the month and if that is the case it doesn’t look like Komphela is in the running. But then again, with Safa anything is possible ...
“When the announcement about the Bafana job is made, I’ll be the first one to congratulate (whoever gets it). I honestly mean it from the bottom of my heart.
“I played for Bafana up until 1995 and I was the only player that was left out of the 1996 squad. I was the captain for South Africa up until then and I was never a bitter man. Having captained South Africa from 1991 up until 1995 and when the squad is mentioned you become the only one that was out and you’ve been the captain but I was never a bitter man,” he stated.
Komphela has served as an interim coach for Bafana in the past and his passion for local football is unquestionable.
“We qualified Bafana for the Afcon 2002 in Mali working with Carlos Queiroz and Trott Moloto, and then we qualified Bafana for the World Cup in Korea/Japan, I was the only technical member that was left out when Carlos lost his job. I was never a bitter man,” Komphela elaborated.
Bafana’s next official assignment is in November against Ghana in an Afcon qualifier.@Minenhlecr7