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From Benni McCarthy to Steven Pienaar ... SA football tacticians in demand abroad

New Manchester United assistant coach Benni McCarthy. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

New Manchester United assistant coach Benni McCarthy. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Published Aug 2, 2022

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Durban — While South African men’s football has been underachieving for nearly two decades on the pitch, it is rather impressive and encouraging to see that South African coaches are starting to excel beyond the borders of South Africa.

This is bound to have a knock on effect in the long-run and influence the development of other tacticians in the country. Most recently, Benni McCarthy was named as a new first team coach of Manchester United.

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By joining United, McCarthy will work for one of the biggest clubs in world football and be part of Erik ten Hag’s technical team. McCarthy has so far shown promise in his young managerial career during his time with Cape Town City and AmaZulu.

With City, he won the MTN 8 before impressively leading former perennial strugglers AmaZulu to a second place finish in the South African Premiership in the 2020/21 season.

McCarthy just lacked that spark to become a renowned tactician and win trophies regularly in South Africa with his professionalism often being questionable during interviews. At United, the former striker is bound to learn a lot and gain more expertise which will benefit him should/if he wishes to return to being a head coach/manager in the future.

McCarthy is not the only South African coach doing great things outside South Africa. Pitso Mosimane famously won two CAF Champions League titles with former club Al Ahly of Egypt. Mosimane is now widely regarded as being one of the best tacticians on the African continent and has forged a name for himself in the Middle Eastern/Gulf region.

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Mosimane is currently a free-agent and after having won everything that there is to win in South Africa, should ideally not come back to his homeland unless for a career swansong before he eventually retires from management altogether.

Former Bafana Bafana defender Bradley Carnell is set to be the first ever head coach of St Louis SC starting from the 2023 Major League Soccer season in the US. Carnell made a name for himself while working as a coach for New York Red Bulls. He is working in a fast developing league which is now churning out quality players on a regular basis with several American youngsters now playing in the elite leagues across Europe.

Former Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar is currently cutting his teeth in management as the assistant coach of the Ajax Amsterdam Under-18 side that is affiliated to the Ajax Youth Academy.

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Forgotten former Bafana Bafana defensive midfielder Masilo Modubi, who boasts the rare distinction of having never played professionally in South Africa, has been a coach for Belgian side KESK Leopoldsburg for several years.

@eshlinv

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