Johannesburg - While Orlando Pirates winger Daine Klate joins his fellow team-mates in taking their first steps towards a successful new season, the SA Football Association (SAFA) will be taking a similarly significant step towards preparing for a new era.
Just a stone’s throw away from the iconic FNB Stadium in Nasrec, where the fourth edition of the Carling Black Label Cup kicks-off at 15:00 on Saturday, SAFA House is gearing up for a showdown of its own, as the new Bafana Bafana coach is set to be unveiled at a highly-anticipated media briefing in the heart of the soccer body’s headquarters.
Klate, along with the rest of the Buccaneers, take on Kaizer Chiefs in the one-of-a-kind pre-season encounter, where members of the public vote for the teams' starting line-ups and substitutions.
Whatever SAFA's decision on Saturday, Klate believes South Africa’s Bafana hopefuls need a coach with a proven international track-record.
"The more successful the coach that comes in, the more respect that coach will have," the 29-year-old speedster believes.
"In any team it’s always been like that. If you look at Manchester United at the moment, [Louis] Van Gaal has just taken over.
"Manchester United are signing top players again, it’s all up to the manager. The players trust in the manager.
"It’s all about the manager being established and successful. The more successful and the more established he is, the more faith and trust the people will have in him."
Empty seats will be hard to find inside the 92 000-seater arena over the weekend, but spotting a vacant spot inside SAFA House could prove an even harder task, with media representatives expected to pack the auditorium where president Danny Jordaan will make public the name of Bafana’s next number one.
Former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz leads a pack of four potential candidates for the soon-to-be vacant national post.
Nigerian mentor Stephen Keshi is believed to be the joint favourite for the role, while Dutchman Frank Rijkaard has quickly propelled himself into third position.
An impressive list is propped up by the only South African in contention, Shakes Mashaba, who has for several years been tasked with keeping an eye on the country’s youth teams.
But Klate, a veteran with more than 12 years’ experience on the local scene, is not convinced.
"Whoever the coach will be, he won’t be the solution. We have to look at grassroots, we have to identify ourselves, we have to identify our leagues," Klate says.
"If you look at Germany, they have a certain style; it’s the style of their league and it's the style of the national team. The questions should be, who’s the most important team in the country?
"If you don’t answer ‘Bafana Bafana’ then I don’t think we’re going to be successful. Is it going to be [Kaizer Chiefs], Pirates, or Mamelodi Sundowns? If everyone says Bafana Bafana, then that’s the direction we’re going to need to go into."