time a Premier Soccer League (PSL) club appoints a local coach to lead them, I
feel like jumping up and down with excitement.
feel the kind of joy that families usually experience at the birth of a baby.
just like it is said that the reason babies cry at birth, it’s because of the
thought of troubles they are going to be exposed to ... something I don’t have
any veracity for but I also feel a tinge of anxiety.
are a number of reasons for my trepidation at such developments.
the appointment is just the beginning of a honeymoon. This phase is over before
you can finish the word START!
maybe I’m jumping the gun.
me first explain the reason for my exhilaration at the news that a local boykie has been given the task of
leading a professional team.
a great believer at the notion of 'Local is Lekker'.
in doubt, just check this past season’s Absa Premiership log. It will tell you
that out of the top 10 clubs, only SuperSport United (Stuart Baxter) who finished
fifth, and sixth-placed Polokwane City who were guided by Belgian Luc Eymael for the better part of the season, were
coached by foreigners, with the other eight having been mentored by locals.
going back through the years, you will find that the likes of Pitso Mosimane,
Gavin Hunt and Gordon Igesund have dominated with the likes of Baxter and Ruud
Krol chipping in here and there.
statistic that always shocks people when I throw it at them is that no foreign
coach has won the Soccer World Cup since its inception in 1930 as all nations who
have won it have done so being coached by a compatriot.
appointing local coaches gives them an opportunity to develop and hopefully
one day we will have a local coach win the World Cup, but they can’t get there
without being given a start somewhere.
McCarthy’s appointment comes as exciting news.
having been a prolific striker for Bafana Bafana in his heyday, playing in some
of the best leagues in Europe, including the Portuguese first division and the
English Premiership and winning the Champions League, he has gone on and
equipped himself with a UEFA A Coaching Licence.
is he qualified for this position? The answer is a big YES!
for my worries.
set-up in South African football is such that it seems coaches are
set up for failure.
one coach once pointed out to me, the word “professional” must be used very
guardedly when it comes to South African football. While he was referring to
players on and off the field, I would also include certain clubs’
in turn frustrates coaches to no end.
I have very high regard for John Comitis and what he has done from Ajax Cape
Town to the recent miracle he has performed with Cape Town City.
think the set-up at the club is conducive for McCarthy to reach for the stars
with his feet firmly on the ground.
am a bit wary that Eric Tinkler left a bit too prematurely, having not finished
the job he stated, but in Benni we trust and wish him all the luck in his
maiden season as a fully-blown professional coach.
luck son of the soil!
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 over 30 years. He is currently
City Press Sports Editor.
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