Mark Gleeson

Give Pitso the Bafana job

2009-11-05 08:38
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Mark Gleeson

There were plenty of candidates proposed for the Bafana Bafana job when Joel Santana finally got fired last month.

Many of them, perennial names from the Premier Soccer League including a massive punt for Gavin Hunt, whose star shines brightly after two successive championship with SuperSport United.

Much of it was divisive, too, and it was proper that South African Football Association went back to Carlos Alberto Parreira to continue the work he started some three years ago now.

But there is now the promise from the new SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani that a South African will get the job after the 2010 World Cup finals.

That new coach’s target will be to qualify the country for the 2012 African Nations Cup finals and also build a team for the 2014 World Cup, which is to be played in Brazil.

This process has already in fact started, or so I thought. Pitso Mosimane left his successful tenure at SuperSport three season ago now to first act as the national team caretaker coach and then learn from Parreira.

He has been groomed for years now and has, by his own admission, sponged up as much knowledge as he can, not only from the Brazilian coaches at the helm of the side, and their strengths and weaknesses, but also from the opportunity to see the game played all over the world.

Mosimane had a bright club record, ensuring SuperSport’s first pieces of silverware in cup competition and twice finishing runner-up in the league.

He is a former national team player himself, one of just a handful of internationals who scored on their Bafana Bafana debut.

As current assistant national team coach he is best placed to take over the job in 2010. Why waste all this development? This is the development that everyone seems to want to see and is the reason why his transition makes sense.

To now have other local coaches thrust into the race is to effectively kill off the credibility of the development process in our game. For Mosimane to go through such a long and thorough apprenticeship and then not get the job is folly and why I think SAFA should make it clear sooner rather than later who Parreira’s successor will be.

Give the new coach the job now so he can start to plan for when he takes over post the World Cup. A little planning would go a long way.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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