Bafana Bafana

Baxter ready to prove critics wrong

Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The search for the Bafana Bafana coach started with more than 70 applicants, which were sent to SAFA expressing interest.

The Technical Search Group comprised of South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan, SAFA Vice President Elvis Shishana, Chair of the SAFA Technical Committee Anastasia Tsichlas, Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, Farouk Khan, SAFA Technical Director Neil Tovey, Bhuda Mathate and Anna Nyman.

According to the official SAFA website, the group reduced the list of candidates to five and then finally three, which included Hevre Renard, Hugo Broos and Stuart Baxter

The final decision was the approval of the appointment of Stuart Baxter as the Bafana Bafana head coach.

SAFA CEO, Dennis Mumble, was then tasked to finalise both the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the long-term contract for the coach. The contract was finalised, opening the way for Baxter to become head coach of the South African Senior Men’s National Team with the immediate challenge being continuing with the preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

“As the South African Football Association (SAFA) we are pleased to welcome Stuart Baxter back at Bafana Bafana.

“We are confident we have made the right choice and with him at helm, we will qualify for both the World Cup in 2018 and the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019,” said Jordaan.

“With our search, we made sure we go for the right man for the job and we would like to thank the media for keeping us on our toes with this appointment - because at the end of it all this is our team, all of us. Good luck to the new coach.”

Baxter has called for unity among South Africans, as they need to fully support the national team as he looks to guide Bafana Bafana to the 2018 Soccer World Cup.

“I am back in this seat because I have belief - I believe that with the wealth of talent in this country we can qualify for things.

“While I know that this position goes with a lot of criticism, I also believe that if we work together as a country and take out all the negativity we can get somewhere.

“So my appeal is, with your support this national team can be great again - criticise if you must, but support is crucial.

“This is not an easy task I am going into, but I have confidence that we will overcome.”

The starting point for the coach is to receive all materials in preparation for the upcoming match against Nigeria on Saturday, June 10 in Uyo, Nigeria.

These include the list of players who played in recent national team matches, video analysis and site inspection in Nigeria which will be undertaken by Bafana Bafana Team Manager Barney Kujane, who departs on Tuesday, 16 May. He will prepare a full report for the coach when he returns.

Upon receipt of the information, Baxter will then finalise his squad for Nigeria with his Technical Team.

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