Search for new Bafana coach throws assistants’ jobs into question

D-DAY Dennis Mumble says the search starts tomorrow.  Picture: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix
D-DAY Dennis Mumble says the search starts tomorrow. Picture: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

While the search for the new Bafana Bafana coach is expected to gather steam from tomorrow, the future of the assistant coaches remains unknown.

This was revealed after yesterday’s meeting of the technical committee which paved the way for the recruitment of new blood to lead the team.

However, the future of Owen Da Gama and Thabo Senong will be decided by the new coach.

Da Gama and Senong are national Under-23 and Under-20 coaches, respectively.

Dennis Mumble, chief executive officer of Safa, said the oversight body would not impose assistant coaches on the new coach.

“It is up to the new coach to keep them or not, and they are aware of that. Their fate is in the coach’s hands. It would be unfair for Safa to impose them onto the new man.”

The duo, together with goalkeeper coach Lucky Shiburi, were hand-picked by former coach Shakes Mashaba.

Mumble said it was all systems go after they had completed the process of identifying a new coach.

He said yesterday’s meeting also dealt with the vacant Banyana Banyana coaching position.

“We were engaging on principles we need to follow in the process of appointing the coach. The same principle applies in the case of whoever get the Under-23 and Under-20 coaching positions.

"These coaches should also help Bafana. We need to recognise those who have been there before.”

He said Safa had an idea of who the new coach would be, but had not yet engaged him.

“We have not approached anyone yet, but we have already identified a few coaches who fit the bill.”

Former Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic, Mamelodi Sundowns’ CAF Champions League-winning coach Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits are among the contenders.

Despite Mashaba’s legal team saying Safa should halt the process until his dismissal case was heard by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, Mumble said this would not stop them from going ahead with the process.

“No law stops us from engaging with anyone after dismissing someone. We are going ahead with the search.”

Mumble said the new coach would have to know the ins and outs of African football.

“He must know the strengths and weaknesses of Africa’s national teams and must have experienced football on the continent.”

A key mandate for the new coach would be to cast his net wide and select the best available players, added Mumble.

“It is key because we have so many players abroad who are never considered. We are developing systems to keep tabs on them and keep in touch with them.

“We may use some of our former players to go and check them out.”

Former players Helman Mkhalele and Calvin Petersen were the current scouts in the Safa provincial structures, he said, adding that it was “working well”.

“We will bring disciplinary committee charges against any administration official who selects players to any regional tournament, as this job must be left to coaches who are well trained to carry it out.

“Recently, we had to engage Gauteng after realising they were no longer featuring in national competitions. We discovered a lot was wrong and Owen Da Gama to help with the selection of their Under-19 team.

“The results were there for everyone to see as the team won the Burger King tournament.”

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