Absa Premiership

SA football getting worse, says Ertugral

Muhsin Ertugral (Gallo Images)
Muhsin Ertugral (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral believes the current state of South African football is getting progressively worse.

The Turkish-born coach first arrived in the country in 1999 when he was entrusted with mentoring Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs.

In what would become an on and off 20-year relationship with South African clubs, Ertugral went on to guide many Absa Premiership teams namely Santos, Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates.

In what was an honest post-match press conference after his side's 2-1 defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns earlier this week, Ertugral said he believed football in the Absa Premiership is not getting any better.

"In that side in Europe, it’s a different world out there. When I came first in 1999 to this country (SA), it was totally different football that was played. So, it’s getting more worse," Ertugral said.

"I feel like sometimes coming back here it’s like the highways, you can’t follow the cars. Precision is more important.

"Players are getting so much money in this country they don’t know what to do with it. And they want to play in Europe, who is going to take you there?"

Ertugral explained how he helped former Cape Town City captain Lebogang Manyama get signed by Turkish side Konyaspor and revealed how the 26-year-old has been struggling to get game time.

"The best player Lebo Manyama which I have put in Turkey, to Konyaspor, a great team in Turkey which are not doing very well and he’s not considered to be on the bench,” said Ertugral.

"The coach tells me, 'What is this'?

"Guys, out there is not easy, tell me one South African player that plays in the Premier League, La Liga, Italy or in the Bundesliga - we need to ask ourselves why not?

"In the 90s I don’t know how many? These are questions that need to be asked."

Ertugral did offer some advice as to how to curb the problem.

"I’m still on the FIFA technical committee and that’s what we are discussing every time," the 58-year-old continued.

"In the end, what we are going to present to the coaches that they are going to do?

"In South Africa, it’s like you're going to the primary school, to the university...

"I just spoke to a friend of mine from Freiburg, he’s the head of the academy at Freiburg. He said to me once a week the players must do a presentation on a topic.

"We can hardly talk to our (South African) players, they just listen. They don’t give feedback because they’ve been suppressed, and that’s what the problem is.

"It’s important to me that they need to talk, they need to be open because when the whistle blows, they need to play.

"They don’t want to talk to you guys (media), these elements, they need to be a little more educated and that’s our problem, the coaches’ problem."

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