Johannesburg - Newly appointed Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane started revolutionising the development of soccer in South Africa.
Mosimane is the first national head coach to put his money where his mouth is and start employing his own coaches.
Mosimane on Wednesday outlined a three-point plan to kick start development at playing and coaching levels.
His plan is:
- to create a pool of coaches for the Premier Soccer League – 10 within the next three years. He has enrolled two coaches former Bafana star Maimane Phiri and Caesar Mapala (at his own expense) in this far-reaching project; and to: - empower regional coaches to develop and unearth new talent for Bafana And develop soccer at high schools throughout the country.
Mosimane, who was appointed to replace Brazilian World Cup winner Carlos Alberto Parreira last month after the World Cup final,s knows where the major problem in South Africa soccer lies – grassroots development of coaches and players.
There is a chronic lack of development with players at schools and coaching at regional levels. But Mosimane also believes in grooming coaches for the Premier Soccer League.
His ideas are a welcome breath of fresh air and are already being implemented. He has the full support of SAFA and SAFA’s technical director Serame Letsoaka.
Mosimane has made a bright start after taking Bafana to the Randburg Hoerskool (a traditional rugby playing school) to prepare for their 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier against Niger played in Nelspruit at the weekend. Bafana triumphed 2-0.
“The response from the kids was overwhelming. I signed up 80 of which 45 were girls to play soccer. What I did was go out and hire a coach for the school at my expense," said Mosimane.
“With privileged schools we need to take coaches to them while underprivileged schools need equipment. With the privileged schools we score double because once we get the kids interested we also involve their parents. We saw a lot of people (Whites) who never attended PSL matches go and watch the World Cup and Confederations Cup (in 2009). " We need to keep that interest going and attract them to Bafana matches and one way is through the schools.”
Mosimane said he intends to leave his footprint when his four-year contract with the SA Football Association ends in 2014 after the World Cup finals in Brazil.
“I have paid my dues as a player and coach and now I want to do something positive by leaving a legacy when my term as national coach ends. I believe that a Bafana coach’s job is not just about coaching the players to play in the World Cup and African Nations Cup.
" I have a different vision as to how a national coach should operate. I have a social responsibility to put as much back into the game. I have studied soccer at all levels and want to contribute and impart my knowledge to help grow and develop the talent that is dormant in our country.”
Kagiso-born Mosimane has all the right credentials. His appointment as Bafana head coach was long overdue. The former Bafana midfielder has SAFA level 2 and a FIFA Futuro Level 1 and 2 coaching badges. He was awarded his UEFA coaching Licence by the German Football Federation.
He also has a certificate in sports science and studied sports management.
“I have studied hard since becoming a youth coach at Mamelodi Sundowns in 1998,” said Mosimane.
But it was former Jomo Cosmos and SuperSport United coach Roy Matthews who gave Mosimane his big coaching break: “Roy believed in me. But it was not an easy road.” Mosimane has already started working with the SAFA regional coaches whose responsibility will be to unearth raw talent for the national under-17, 20, 23 and Bafana sides.
Said Mosimane: “I need to empower those coaches to find players like Daine Klate, Siboniso Gaxa, Kermit Erasmus, Steven Pienaar and Teko Modise. It takes hard work but I am ready to roll up my sleeves and do what ever it takes. It is my project and I aim to have a healthy set up when I finish in 2014.
“I want to help not just players but coaches to avoid the pitfalls that befell me. There is no easy road but there are smarter ones than I took. I believe we have tremendous untapped talent. South Africa can be a powerhouse once again in the not too distant future and I want to play my part in getting us there.”