The Bafana coach debate: Foreign coach will be good for the team

2014-02-02 10:01

Foreign coach will be good for the team.

The SA Football Association (Safa) must appoint a suitably qualified foreign coach to lead Bafana Bafana going forward.

It must appoint someone with good credentials who has achieved at the highest level, such as at the World Cup, and not somebody who will still play the game of finder-finder with our national team.

We’ve had enough of that and we need somebody who not only knows what they are doing, but would be committed to the task at hand rather than flashing dollar signs.

I know I will be accused of many things, including being unpatriotic, for this suggestion. So let me quickly substantiate my argument.

For starters, Safa must take a holistic approach and the coach must not just come as an individual but as part of a well-thought-out and formulated package.

How so?

First, Safa must determine which model to adopt around those of, say, the top four football-playing nations: Spain, Germany, Argentina and Colombia. Other countries like Brazil and Portugal could also be considered.

They should then establish a solid partnership with that country’s football association.

Personally, I would go for Spain.

Why? Because after failing for years to win the World Cup, they came up with a development programme that has not only seen them become European and world champions, but also play a fluid, attractive and quite progressive brand of football.

This is evident in their junior teams right up to the senior national team.

Even FC Barcelona, which comprises mostly Spanish internationals, bears evidence to how solid Spain’s football foundation is.

The coach must be somebody who has vast experience in working at the national level, from junior teams upwards.

He must be somebody who is respected in international football circles, and must command a great deal of respect among local Premier Soccer League coaches.

The next step would be for Safa to identify a group of South African coaches who will take part in an intense elite training programme.

These coaches must be employed full time and be attached to the junior national teams.

But rather than sitting and twiddling their thumbs when their teams are inactive, they should travel extensively to the country that Safa establishes a partnership with, as well as attend regular coaching seminars across the world.

South Africa’s coaching programme must be in line with Safa president Danny Jordaan’s Vision 2022 as well as the association’s technical master plan.

Another structure that needs to be solidified is the defunct South African Football Coaches Association.

It should come up with programmes that will ensure local coaches are kept well abreast of the latest global trends in football.

As things stand, I don’t see any local coach leading Bafana Bafana out of the quagmire and into the upper echelons of world football.

If you’re in doubt, simply check how badly our clubs do in continental competitions.

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