Bafana Bafana

Baxter says Bafana should play the South African way

2017-05-16 07:15
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said that the football played by the South African national team should be reflective of the nation’s unique strengths and way of playing football. 

"We need to be competitive, but you can be competitive by playing, by fighting, by being tactically smart and hopefully we have a little bit of those. But inevitably, the players will do it in South African way," said Baxter.

"They will not be hindered in any way, shape or form in doing that. Quite the opposite, I want football that is reflection of South African of what happens in the PSL.

"The strengths of South Africa should be reflected in the national team.  Does it mean I will encourage people to do 'shibobo' in their own penalty area, No! I will tell them clearly that winning is what everybody wants."

Baxter was talking at his first press conference at SAFA House on Monday, following his second appointment as the national team coach. 

The 63-year-old says that South Africa has immense talent and enough good players to draw from. 

"I believe that the nation has enough good players to be very competitive. I believe in my own ability to coach people and try to get the best out of them,” he said.

"When I came to South Africa for the first time, it was in the hope of doing something for a longer period of time."

Baxter said although he is optimistic about the team, the country needs to be realistic about its abilities and the state of developing youngsters. 

"For whatever reason, at the time (in his first sojourn as Bafana coach) , the country, not just SAFA, was not receptive," he said.

"We still had this feeling that our players are the best in the world and we gonna win the world cup and every time, we would go in bombarded with optimism that we gonna win and we’d be disappointed that we weren’t getting the development."

"My optimism has not diminished. I still think that if we can pull together, if we can stop the 'he said she said', and you guys (the media), should be critical but should also understand the role that we have because if the overpowering negativity from different angles in our country will affect the results and long term development. 

"We all need to buy in to the idea of developing our boys to become the powerhouse of Africa and I still believe we can do that. I thought long and hard to come back and I realised the work is starting and I would love to be part of it,” said Baxter.

Read more on:    safa  |  bafana bafana  |  stuart baxter  |  soccer
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