Baxter aims for glory days

2012-06-30 19:31

Former Bafana coach bemoans lack of talent identification and youth development

Former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says it’s a crying shame that South African soccer has stagnated while his youth structure blueprint is gathering dust.

The new Kaizer Chiefs coach, who coached Bafana between 2004 and 2005, said had the soccer bosses implemented his youth plan back then, South African soccer would be reaping the rewards by now.

He hopes this will not be the case with his new employers, as he seeks to lay a good youth foundation to take the club back to its former glory.

“It’s a shame because we came in and presented to Parliament and people were impressed with what they saw, but nothing came of it,” Baxter said.

“I said at the time that if we didn’t qualify for the 2006 World Cup it would be a massive disappointment and if we don’t produce a good team for the 2010 World Cup it would be a disaster.

“I used to say the aftermath of 2010 should be a golden age for South African football.

“All those things depended on talent identification and the youth development plan being implemented. Those plans are gathering dust and because of that there is no golden age.

“I would have loved to see that happening even after my departure.”

Baxter said he left out of pure frustration as his hands were tied.

“The emphasis should have shifted towards the youth around the time I was here and by now we would be enjoying the golden age, as we have all the facilities and the programmes.

“It’s a shame!”

Baxter said he sympathises with national team coaches as they can do nothing about the situation.

“National team coaches will always work with hindsight because they have to work with what they get.

“And are we producing enough quality, young talent to allow them to do their job properly?” Baxter asked.

“When I was there I was hanging on to players like Benni, Zuma and Nomvethe because I did not feel there was anyone coming through and I got criticised but they are still the most successful players in the country.”

After leaving in a huff, Baxter said he was hopeful his second coming would bear fruit.

“I have a point to prove, not to myself but to the people.

“At least this time I will have more time to work with the players, unlike the three or four days I used to have with the national team.”

He did not promise to win trophies for Chiefs but said he wanted to lay a solid foundation to get Amakhosi back to their former glory days.
 

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