S'Busiso Mseleku

Will SA ever produce a Mourinho or Sir Alex?

2015-09-23 10:36
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

Congratulations are in order for Roger de Sa on winning his second trophy when his young Ajax Cape Town charges beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in Saturday's MTN8 Cup final.

In the process, De Sa added to the Nedbank Cup he won with Bidvest Wits in 2010 while Komphela still fell short of claiming his first silverware, a fate he suffered with Manning Rangers, losing in the 2004 Absa Cup final.

Result aside, it was a proud moment for South African football to see two young, home-brewed soccer coaches stand toe to toe in a bid to make history.

The match-up proved how far the domestic game has come in the stakes of confidence in local coaches.

Earlier this season, we hailed the dawn of a new era in South African football that saw the top three sides in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns being coached by the local boys in Komphela, Eric Tinkler and Pitso Mosimane.

In the same breath, we warned though that their jobs were not a bed of roses and they would have to work extra hard to prove a point and show the world that they were worth their salt.

As  things stand, the trio seem to be playing into the hands of the detractors who thought they could never be up to the task.

Given that Mosimane has managed to win the league and the Nedbank Cup in the three seasons at the helm of the Brazilians, things are not going very well this time around having only won one, drew one and lost two league matches, collecting a measly four points out of a possible 12.

The richest club in South Africa also bombed out of the early rounds of the MTN8 competition.

Besides being in the CAF Confederation Cup, things are not that rosy for Tinkler either. His charges - in a heavily populated side - have only managed a single victory in four outings on the domestic front.

With football - more especially the followers thereof - being known to be fickle, Komphela's loss in the MTN8 Cup final, will put him under more pressure and scrutiny.

So, unless the fortunes of the Komphela, Mosimane and Tinkler, the opportunity to strike a major positive blow for South African coaches will be missed.

Unfortunately for the three, they are not only representing their own interests, but those of a whole lot of people who will gain from their success, in particular young, upcoming coaches.

Another coach walking a tightrope is Gordon Igesund. With the big signings he made before the star of the season, his bosses have given him a mandate to collect some silverware, preferably the league title.

However, results have not gone his way and the latest 1-0 defeat to Bidvest Wits, spells more trouble for the beleaguered four-time championship winning mentor.

I mentioned last week that Benni McCarthy's appointment as assistant coach at Belgian club Sint-Truiden was a step in the right direction for the South African football coaching fraternity.

But we are still a long way off from producing our own Jose Mourinho or a Sir Alex Ferguson.

For this to happen, the country needs to have a big pool of coaches at grassroots level, producing well-developed players who will grow up to be proper weapons for the elite coaches in the PSL  to utilise and help achieve their goals.

This chain would produce good and capable Bafana Bafana - senior men's national team players who will also make an impact in overseas leagues - which will result in our coaches being respected globally.

Only then, will South Africa be regarded as a force in world football.

Currently, this remains a pipe-dream but with proper planning and execution, it can be achieved.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: 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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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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