PSL Cancer

2013-12-02 22:44

South African football has been plagued by the constant chopping and changing of coaching staff in the country’s top tier league, the Premier Soccer League. It is just not the chopping and changing of the coaching staff that is a constant cancer to the growth of South African football. Let’s analyse some of these areas.

The most recent sacking of coach Steven Komphela from his post at Free State Stars highlights the lack of patience shown by PSL clubs who are looking to be successful (more like looking for a quick fix) at the top tier of South African football. Keeping with Mr. Komphela as the prime example, we see that he was placed in a bit of a tight spot since the beginning of the season.

Key players were sold and he was forced into the rebuilding phase once more with Free State Stars. After recent results not going in his favour he gets the axe from his employers. What this does in the bigger scheme of things is that the young players he perhaps would have been grooming are now at risk of sitting in the stands week in and week out. This is not at all healthy for any footballer, to be sitting in the stands and not getting that much needed experience out in a highly competitive match. Lack of playing time is what kills young talent in South Africa. You find that the player will peak towards his 30’s and only then we recognise them as worthy of pulling on the green and gold of the national team. We need to look at ways we can incorporate the youth (We talking about youngsters below the 21 year age group) into the PSL structures.

What hinders the innovation of South African football is the recycling of coaches. We look at coaches like your Manqoba Mngqithi, Ernst Middendorp, just to name but a few, have been in and out of the PSL. This does not bode well for the young coaches who have new ideas and have proved themselves in the lower tiers. An example of this would be Chippa United. Their coach who got them to the PSL, Roger Sikhakhane, was sacked upon gaining promotion. If he could get a team straight to the PSL from the Vodacom League in two seasons, what reason was there to fire him? However the decision to appoint a new coach upon gaining their PSL status backfired on them and cost them their spot in the lucrative premier league. Looking at the new coaches in the system we have seen new styles of coaching which have seen some of the PSL’s former smaller clubs rise up and compete with the top teams in the league. This proves that PSL teams should really refrain from the recycling of coaches.

I personally support one of the bigger clubs in the PSL and it is really sad to find that majority of the teams in the PSL do not promote their young players to the first team. Similar to my plea not to recycle coaches, I believe we should not recycle players who are past their peak and cost bucket loads of money for their services. I believe this prevents the nation from building a team for the future. We cannot pin our hopes on players who are already around 26 and look to them to qualify for tournaments. We need to get the younger players into the PSL so that they can look to compete when the junior international tournaments arise. We can then compete with players who are used to a high level of competition. An area of concern raised by many football fans is that the younger players have no discipline. I believe this is a vital area that PSL coaches need to focus on. A culture of professionalism should be encouraged by clubs and make sure that they take care of these youngsters and just leave them to what they do best which is to play football and continue growing .Our young talent is key to the successes of South African football.

Just in closing I would like to rehash my earlier statements. PSL clubs needs to be patient with the coaches and try to develop their players and keep them in their structures. We need to give young talent a chance in South Africa in terms of coaches and players alike. Hope to see Bafana lift the AFCON in the next few editions, as well as win the FIFA World Cup before I become old, deaf and blind. I am a proud South African and the best will do for my country.

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