Johannesburg - On any given day, Benni McCarthy could turn the game on its tail, dismantle a defence and score with such regularity as to make it look simple.
He did this whether playing for Seven Stars or Bafana Bafana.
Doctor Khumalo was a midfield marshal, blessed with peripheral vision that led to some claiming he had side mirrors like a car.
Pitso Mosimane knew where the poles were and scored some spectacular goals for Jomo Cosmos, Mamelodi Sundowns and the national team.
Eric Tinkler was part of the engine-room as the strongman in the all-conquering Bafana Class of ’96.
Today, these former boys – together with Dan Malesela, Sammy Troughton, Fadlu Davids and Clinton Larsen – have graduated to men and are leading Absa Premiership teams.
This is just part of how much the Premier Soccer League has evolved in the past 21 years.
It is an encouraging progression that might eventually play a big role in bringing South Africa closer to the dream of one day winning the Fifa World Cup.
I say this guardedly, though, as I have no intention of giving the impression that Mzansi is already among world-beaters in the game of the pigskin.
However, I’m saying this guided by that nagging statistic that no country has ever won the football World Cup while coached by a foreign coach.
All the eight nations – Brazil, Germany, Italy, Uruguay, Argentina, France, England and Spain – that have won the football Holy Grail, did so under the tutelage of their own.
As the coaches – with the exception of Khumalo who has been given that lofty job of a technical director at Baroka FC – are tasked with guiding their respective PSL clubs to glory, they have a job to polish South African talent, guide it and ensure they remain good enough not only to play in South Africa but internationally.
Home-grown mentors, such as Gordon Igesund who won the inaugural PSL title with Manning Rangers in 1996, Mosimane and Gavin Hunt have shown time and again that Local is Lekker.
Igesund and Hunt are the only coaches who have won the PSL league title four times each. Mosimane has also lifted the title twice.
Just the other day – Friday to be exact – McCarthy put one over his mentor Hunt as he guided Cape Town City to a 1-0 victory.
With the money coming into the PSL and the modern game improving every day, all the local coaches would do themselves a huge favour by attending regular refresher courses.
This, in turn, would assist them to keep our players on par with their oversees peers.
It is high time the impressive monetary benefits the PSL is generating were reflected in how Bafana perform internationally.
However, for South African players to be able to match their counterparts from other countries, they need proper grounding and guidance at their clubs, with whom they train daily and play for week in and week out.
Coaches are an integral part of football and, as a result, growth and development is in their hands.
Follow me on Twitter @Sbu_Mseleku