Soccer's Big Boss

By Drum Digital
25 August 2010

He prances across the large living room, clutching his Black- Berry and gesturing with his free hand as he passionately relays his soccer expertise to the person on the other end of the line.

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 man at the coaching helm of Bafana Bafana.Pitso took over the reins 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 his home in the smart suburb of Oaklands in Joburg. It’s the first time the publicity-shy coach is allowing media into his home – although he still doesn’t feel comfortable about us photographing it, for security reasons.

Clad in a silky black suit, blue striped shirt and shiny black shoes, Pitso drapes himself over the long grey couch and downs a glass of juice. “Being busy is the price I have to pay for being Bafana coach, I guess. I’m sitting on the edge of a very hot seat.”

H The 46-year-old knows the nation expects a lot and acknowledges he has big shoes to fill. “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 old Molefi Oliphant presidency, which groomed me; the likes of Irvin Khoza, who had faith in me and the new president, Kirsten Nematandani, who gave me the opportunity.”

He has high hopes for Bafana. “It’s going to be difficult and there will always be room for improvement. 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.”

Bafana weren’t ever that bad, he adds. “Who do you expect to win when no one believes you will win? I’m here to change that mentality. We will win only when we believe we will win.”

Read the full feature in DRUM of 2 September 2010

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