Safa to decide whether to keep top women’s coaches

2014-03-02 14:00

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Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza and his Basetsana counterpart Sheryl Botes will know their fates this week.

Their positions and that of the Under-17 national women’s team coach were advertised last year.

Mkhonza and Botes are not guaranteed callbacks, although both have reapplied for their positions.

SA Football Association (Safa) technical committee boss Natasha Tsichlas told City Press this week successful candidates will be announced no later than Thursday.

She said the technical committee would recommend names to Safa’s highest decision-making body – the national executive committee (NEC) – on Wednesday.

“The NEC makes the final decision but we have short-listed the best candidates,” she said.

Tsichlas declined to reveal whether Mkhonza and Botes were on the short list, only saying: “They are both respected coaches but I cannot say if they’ve made the cut for confidentiality purposes.”

The former Mamelodi Sundowns managing director emphasised the importance of having the best coaches on all national teams.

“The ultimate goal is to move to where we want to be – top of the world,” she said.

Botes and Mkhonza said they have not heard anything from Safa since the interviews and promised to comment after the announcement.

Meanwhile, Mkhonza has rubbished allegations of a rift between him and Banyana’s prolific striker Portia Modise.

The 30-year-old Modise did not feature in the Banyana setup in three camps assembled last year.

“Modise is one of the best players this country has ever produced and we know what she can do,” said Mkhonza.

“She did not feature in the team because those were not important games and I wanted to give new players a chance.”

The team took part in the Cyprus Cup earlier last year, finishing 11th out of 12 participating countries before hammering Mozambique 5-0 and drawing 1-1 with Zimbabwe in international friendlies.

Modise was in the dark about the reasons that led to her being sidelined.

“I thought we were on good terms but he dropped me and I really do not know why,” she said.

“Maybe he is the one with a problem with me but I don’t have anything against him.”

Asked what she thought of Mkhonza as a coach, she said: “He had his turn and did whatever he planned to do.”

Modise expressed concern over her lack of game time, adding she will consider taking a coaching course if her fortunes did not change this year.

Banyana’s most decorated player has bounced back from the international football wilderness in the past, following a fallout with then Banyana coach Augustine Makalakalane in 2008.

She was brought back to the national team by Mkhonza in 2012.

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