What awaits new Bafana coach?

2014-06-08 15:00

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Whether it is Giovanni Trapattoni, Frank Rijkaard, Hervé Renard, Ruud Krol, Stephen Keshi or Carlos Queiroz, the soon-to-be-named Bafana Bafana coach faces a near impossible task on his first day on the job.

The SA Football Association (Safa) is expected to name Gordon Igesund’s successor next month, with the aforementioned coaches all having been linked to the job.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said they have been inundated with calls from across the globe with coaches vying for the position that will be vacant at the end of next month.

“Imagine if we were to advertise the position? But we are not going to do that as it is a lengthy process and time-consuming. We are going to head-hunt the person who fits our criteria,” Mumble told City Press on Friday.

The new man in charge will have just over a month to prepare Bafana for the daunting trip to Sudan for the team’s opening Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in September.

Five days later, Bafana will welcome African champions Nigeria in their second game.

Other Afcon qualifying matches will be against the winner of the eliminator between the Democratic Republic of Congo or Rwanda.

Safa has already stated that it would have strict performance clauses in place and, if that is the case, the new coach could be in charge for only three months – that is if he fails to qualify for the Morocco tournament.

But Mumble said although qualifying for Morocco was a must, the bigger picture would be the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He said some of the set criteria was that the coach should:

»?Possess a pro-coaching licence;

» Have a proven international track record; and

» Most importantly, have an understanding of South African players.

“We need someone who will have knowledge of our league and other leagues as we have too many players playing in other leagues. As much as we want to qualify and do well in Morocco, we cannot be too strict about that as it is not the only condition in the contract,” said Mumble.

Of the coaches linked to the Bafana post, Trapattoni, the famed Italian mentor; and Rijkaard do not have experience of coaching on the continent, while Renard steered Zambia to a 2010 Afcon triumph.

Keshi also won the title with Nigeria last year, while Krol, who has been fired by Tunisian side CS Sfaxien, coached Orlando Pirates between 2008 and 2011.

Queiroz was the last coach to qualify Bafana for the World Cup in 2002 and the Afcon in Mali in the same year.

Keshi and Queiroz will play against each other in their opening game of the World Cup when Nigeria takes on Iran on June 16.

The last time Bafana qualified for the Afcon finals was in 2008 when they were knocked out in the first round.

They did not take part in the 2010 and 2012 editions in Angola and Gabon/Equatorial Guinea, respectively, and were part of the last edition last year by virtue of being the hosts.

Unless Safa appoints Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, the current junior national teams coach, as an interim coach for the qualifiers, it’s difficult to see the new coach succeeding in the qualifiers.

Mashaba is quite familiar with South African players.

SURVIVAL GUIDE

Tips for incoming Bafana coach

» Continue building on Gordon Igesund’s foundation – there are a lot of players in the pool to choose from

» Show faith in youngsters – they are hungry for success and the future

» Phase out the old guard – some of them have overstayed their welcome and have not achieved anything

» Be your own man – resist any influence from the players’ agents and club bosses. It has been proven that some of the players’ business managers influence call-ups for their clients

» Recommend own technical staff – choose a competent assistant coach who will complement you and not just be a yes man or become the equivalent of a ball boy

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