Neil Tovey ‘understands SA football and where we want to take it’

2015-06-28 14:00
Neil Tovey. PHOTO: Steve Haag / Gallo Images

The SA Football Association (Safa) has appointed Neil Tovey as its new technical director with immediate effect, the federation revealed yesterday.

Safa also reported a projected R28 million profit at its national executive committee (NEC) meeting yesterday.

Former Bafana Bafana captain Tovey replaces Fran Hilton-Smith, who has been acting in the position since Serame Letsoaka resigned a few years ago.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said Tovey was one of six candidates and had come out tops in the evaluation process.

He said Tovey had been tasked with taking South Africa football to the next level for the next five years.

But the chief executive was quick to warn Tovey that he should not interfere with the senior national team’s job or have ambitions to coach Bafana.

“We are not going to tolerate anyone who has his sights on the national team coach post and Neil is well aware of that,” said Mumble.

“His role is not about the national teams, but football development in general. One of his responsibilities is to ensure we train over 10 000 coaches a year and that national teams have full support.

“His other role is to streamline our referees and coaching education and youth development programme – we believe he has what it takes to lead the organisation.

“We think he has sufficient experience to see the implementation of the technical master plan because he played an integral part in devising the plan. He knows and understands SA football and where we want to take it.”

Chairperson of the technical committee Natasha Tsichlas said she was proud of Tovey’s credentials and had no doubt he would succeed in the job.

“He is South African and understands the culture and philosophy of our football. He has access to all the coaches – this is important for us going forward,” said Tsichlas.

Safa also announced at yesterday’s NEC meeting that it had recorded a healthy profit for the past financial year.

Gay Mokoena, chairperson of the finance committee and ad hoc committee on school football, said they were going to report a positive result for the year.

“I can proudly say the association is in a good financial position despite having a difficult year with all our teams participating in various tournaments. It was due to better planning and keeping our overheads down,” said Mokoena.

He also said yesterday’s NEC meeting reaffirmed the special congress decision to take the running of school football from the SA Schools Football Association (Sasfa).

Mokoena said although Sasfa did not agree with the March decision, Safa was going ahead with implementing it. He said they had already engaged with several stakeholders, including CAF, Fifa and the government.

“We’ve developed a detailed implementation plan to phase out Sasfa’s involvement and are doing it carefully as we don’t want to affect the children. They were reluctant to effect the change and wrote to us to say they were not happy with the decision, but we are going ahead with our plan.”

Read more on:    safa  |  neil tovey

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