S'Busiso Mseleku

PSL pits ex-players against each other as coaches

2015-11-11 09:44
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

We have just witnessed two back-to-back mouth-watering Soweto Derbies featuring Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

The first was an Absa Premiership encounter that ended in a 3-1 victory for The Buccaneers, proving once more that form usually counts for nought in these matches as Chiefs came into the game placed fourth and Pirates 13th on the log standings.

And then their Telkom Knockout Cup game this past weekend failed to produce any goals in 120 minutes with Amakhosi emerging 6-5 winners after the dreaded penalty shootout lottery.

But one aspect that caught my eye, was the fact that in Steve Komphela and Eric Tinkler, the two matches pitted two former Bafana Bafana team-mates against each other.

And after Mamelodi Sundowns dispatched of SuperSport United, Komphela will face yet another ex-national team player in Pitso Mosimane in the final.

There are actually a number of PSL battles that bring together former Bafana Bafana players against each other as coaches. One of them is Bloemfontein Celtic mentor, Clinton Larsen and Golden Arrows boss Serame Letsoaka.

Add to the mix the likes of Doctor Khumalo and Tebogo Moloi who are assistants at Chiefs and Pirates respectively, as well as Shaun Bartlett who has also had a stint with Arrows, the number increases.

This to me says while there has always been concern about the pace - or lack thereof - of development in South African football, we do have a trickling of players graduating from being players to coaching.

This should serve as encouragement for both up and coming youngsters that there is hope for them after their playing days are over as well as for the future of football in the country.

One of the encouragements one must give to this current crop of coaches is that they should give young players more playing opportunities.

It is high time that PSL clubs took a plunge and stopped wrapping young talent in cotton wool because this results in Bafana Bafana depending on much older players.

Introducing young players to a professional set-up at a tender age, will expose them to the demands of international football and thus lead to early maturity.

This bunch of coaches should know very well what I'm talking about as they have been there, done that and got the T-shirts.

Also, these coaches' introduction into the game has brought about a group of people who understand the culture and mindset of South African players.

This should be an added value to the game going forward.

They are unlike foreign coaches who sometimes tend to insist on instilling foreign concepts and tendencies to the local game. These sometimes tend to be not suitable for South African conditions.

I need to quickly point out though that there are many foreign coaches who have made an immense contribution to the local game by bringing in fresh and thus refreshing methods and ideas.

The ball is in the current crop of local coaches' court to ensure that they don't rest on their laurels but keep on improving themselves by attending refresher courses overseas to keep up to date with the fast improving modern trends in football.

This would eventually put them on par with their peers from other countries and continents.

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.

Read more on:    psl  |  s'busiso mseleku  |  soccer


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