Igesund poised to make major announcement

2012-07-28 14:45

Newly appointed Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has promised to let the nation into his vision in two weeks’ time.

“I will be making a major announcement in two weeks’ time, where I will reveal my vision,” he told City Press
this week.

Igesund said he wanted to share his vision with the nation as Bafana Bafana belonged to all South Africans.

The four-time Premier Soccer League (PSL) championship-winning coach said he had already met about 70% of coaches doing duty in the elite league.

He hoped to rond off his meetings with the coaches by the end of this coming week.

“The purpose of the meetings is to get their views and also share mine. I want everybody to be on board as this is a national duty,” said Igesund.

He was still also chasing a meeting with Orlando Pirates number one goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, who announced his retirement from international soccer during Pitso Mosimane’s reign as national coach.

Igesund said he would like to draw from as many people’s experience as possible.

“This is why I have roped in Jomo Sono, Clive Barker and Shakes Mashaba as advisers. Between them, they have massive experience and have achieved a lot with the national team,” he said.

Barker won the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with Bafana Bafana in 1996 and Sono followed with a silver medal, losing 2-0 to Egypt in the final in Burkina Faso two years later.

Besides taking the Under-23s to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the SA Under-20s to the World Championships, Mashaba easily qualified the national team for the 2004 Afcon finals before being sacked for nefarious reasons.

Igesund says he wants to start on a clean slate and will apply an open selection policy.

“This is one of the reasons I have been meeting with the coaches,” he said.

“I will not select a player without talking to their coach and finding out their physical and mental condition.

“No player will be guaranteed a place in the national team. Every single player will be selected on merit.”

Igesund is not perturbed by the fact that his first assignment is like a baptism of fire against the Seleção Canarinho (Little Canary Selection) of Brazil in September.

“We can’t avoid tough matches,” he said confidently.

However, his main goal will be to qualify the team for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Despite dropping four points already against Ethiopia and Botswana through two successive draws, Igesund says: “We can still make it if we win all our home matches. We can still even top the group. I think the toughest task will be the draw of the 10 nations after this preliminary round.”

Just like Barker who took over a team dubbed “The 4x4” in 1994 after successive 4-0 drubbings, Igesund has his work cut out for him.

“I’m aware that the morale is at its lowest ebb, but we will work on that and turn things around,” he promised.

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