Bafana Bafana

Safa still scrambling to net Bafana Bafana coach

2017-03-12 06:12
IN THE PICTURE: Stuart Baxter is being considered for the Bafana job. (File, Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The search for a new Bafana Bafana coach is far from over. After missing its deadline to unveil Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba’s successor, the SA Football Association (Safa) is still scrambling to find its man.

This is after the two main targets – Carlos Queiroz and Hervé Renard – fell by the wayside.

Another mentor the association had been eyeing was Hugo Broos, who led the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to the Africa Cup of Nations championship last month.

City Press has learnt that Safa has renewed its interest in SuperSport United coach Stuart Baxter and former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol.

A source within the association confirmed the two were the only remaining candidates from the initial five-man short list.

The source said Krol had shown interest in the position, but was away on holiday.

“He indicated he was on his way to a holiday for two weeks when we approached him. We will see what happens when he comes back,” said the insider.

“As for Stuart, we are not sure if SuperSport can release him now as they have set their eyes on the league championship.”

Three assistant coaches

Queiroz was unable to take the post because his employer, the Iranian Football Association, asked for millions in compensation if he resigned.

Renard was ruled out after the parties failed to agree on terms.

City Press has learnt that negotiations between Safa and Renard broke down at the last minute.

This was after the Frenchman made a catalogue of bizarre demands.

He apparently demanded he be allowed to bring along a support team, which included three assistant coaches, among others.

Although contact was made with Broos’ representatives, the Belgian apparently wants to lead the Indomitable Lions at the Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia in June and in the 2019 Afcon finals at home.

Safa CEO Dennis Mumble could on Friday only say that the announcement of the new coach was imminent. However, he would not give a specific date.

“We are trying to finalise a deal that has proven difficult to settle. We know we did not meet the targeted deadline because our targets had obligations elsewhere.

“Already, two candidates got into trouble with their employers after their names were mentioned,” said Mumble.

However, he said the new coach could be appointed before Bafana’s two friendly games before the end of the month against Guinea-Bissau and Angola.

Raised eyebrows

Assistant coach Owen Da Gama was given the responsibility to lead the team in the two games a few days ago.

Da Gama named one of the strongest possible squads for the friendlies.

He has recalled overseas-based Kamohelo Mokotjo and Kermit Erasmus, both of whom were out of favour with Mashaba.

Credit should also be given to Da Gama for not picking Orlando Pirates players.

Due to their current form, no Pirates player deserves a place in the national team – they need to first show their form at club level before being considered for the national side.

The same applies to Eleazar Rodgers, who is hardly getting game time at Bidvest Wits.

The lanky striker was Bafana’s best player in the World Cup qualifiers against Senegal and Burkina Faso, but lost his place in the team because of his club form.

However, Da Gama needs to be consistent with his selection. He has raised eyebrows with the selection of 35-year-old Shu-Aib Walters.

The Cape Town City player is on form for his side, but his inclusion in Bafana does not fit in with the youth development goals of Safa’s Vision 2022 plan.

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