We have just witnessed two back-to-back mouth-watering
Soweto Derbies featuring Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
The first was an Absa Premiership encounter that ended in a 3-1 victory for The Buccaneers, proving once more that form usually
counts for nought in these matches as Chiefs came into the game placed fourth and Pirates 13th on the log
And then their Telkom Knockout Cup game this past
weekend failed to produce any goals in 120 minutes with Amakhosi emerging 6-5
winners after the dreaded penalty shootout lottery.
But one aspect that caught my eye, was the fact that
in Steve Komphela and Eric Tinkler, the two matches pitted two former Bafana
Bafana team-mates against each other.
And after Mamelodi Sundowns dispatched of SuperSport
United, Komphela will face yet another ex-national team player in Pitso
Mosimane in the final.
There are actually a number of PSL battles that bring
together former Bafana Bafana players against each other as coaches. One of
them is Bloemfontein Celtic mentor, Clinton Larsen and Golden Arrows boss
Add to the mix the likes of Doctor Khumalo and Tebogo
Moloi who are assistants at Chiefs and Pirates respectively, as well as Shaun
Bartlett who has also had a stint with Arrows, the number increases.
This to me says while there has always been concern
about the pace - or lack thereof - of development in South African football, we
do have a trickling of players graduating from being players to coaching.
This should serve as encouragement for both up and
coming youngsters that there is hope for them after their playing days are over
as well as for the future of football in the country.
One of the encouragements one must give to this
current crop of coaches is that they should give young players more playing
It is high time that PSL clubs took a plunge and
stopped wrapping young talent in cotton wool because this results in Bafana
Bafana depending on much older players.
Introducing young players to a professional set-up at
a tender age, will expose them to the demands of international football and
thus lead to early maturity.
This bunch of coaches should know very well what I'm
talking about as they have been there, done that and got the T-shirts.
Also, these coaches' introduction into the game has
brought about a group of people who understand the culture and mindset of South
This should be an added value to the game going
They are unlike foreign coaches who sometimes tend to
insist on instilling foreign concepts and tendencies to the local game. These
sometimes tend to be not suitable for South African conditions.
I need to quickly point out though that there are many
foreign coaches who have made an immense contribution to the local game by
bringing in fresh and thus refreshing methods and ideas.
The ball is in the current crop of local coaches' court
to ensure that they don't rest on their laurels but keep on improving
themselves by attending refresher courses overseas to keep up to date with the
fast improving modern trends in football.
This would eventually put them on par with their peers
from other countries and continents.
S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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