Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane

By admin
27 August 2010

He strides across the large living room, clutching his BlackBerry and gesturing as he enthusiastically shares his soccer knowledge with the caller.

Finally he hangs up with a deep sigh. He has just arrived home after a long day at the office but his work is far from over. “This is my life now,” says Pitso Mosimane, the new coach at the helm of Bafana Bafana.

He took over from Carlos Alberto Parreira on 15 July and has been a busy man ever since.

“It never ends,” he says when we visit him at home in posh Oaklands, Joburg.

The 46-year-old knows the nation expects a lot. “I learnt a lot from Parreira and without him I wouldn’t have been coach now. He showed me all the tricks.”

However Pitso also credits his success to the likes of Molefi Oliphant, Irvin Khoza, and new Safa president Kirsten Nematandani.

The former crack striker, who represented Bafana Bafana four times, has high hopes for the team. “The easiest part is training the players but satisfying stakeholders and the public will be tough. People don’t understand that nobody owns the team – it is owned by 48 million supporters.”

His approach to soccer is a combination of intellect, passion and hard work. It’s his way or nobody’s way, he says. He inherited his work ethic from his late parents, James and Mary. “They didn’t have much besides a small tuck shop but they worked hard,” Pitso says. “My father inspired me; he told me to follow my heart.”

In the 2004/5 season, while head coach at SuperSport United, he won the PSL Coach of the Year trophy. AS Pitso chats His son, Kopano (9), and daughter, Lelentle (11), arrive from school.

Does Kopano have the same passion for soccer as his dad? “No, he’s hopeless at soccer. He’s more into swimming and a bit of cricket.”

His wife, Moira Tlhagale (35), a quantity surveyor, sits in the kitchen with her laptop as Kopano chatters away. “We have been together for five years now,” Pitso says. He quickly changes the subject to his social projects.

He conducts coaching workshops called Basic Principles of Success in Coaching across SA and has joined forces with Unicef to form a development programme called Coaching Boys to Men.

“It’s about giving back to the community,” he says.

Read the full article in the YOU of 2 September 2010

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