SHAKES HAS BIG PLANS FOR BAFANA

New na­tional team coach will ‘de­mol­ish ev­ery­thing in ex­is­tence’ to build for the fu­ture, as per Safa’s man­date

CityPress - - Front Page - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

Pre­pare for a new-look Bafana Bafana. Newlyap­pointed coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba has vowed to dis­man­tle the ex­ist­ing team and re­build it from scratch. The coach re­vealed he has given the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) a list of peo­ple he wants to work with, mak­ing it likely that mem­bers of for­mer coach Gor­don Ige­sund’s tech­ni­cal team will not to be spared.

“We will de­mol­ish ev­ery­thing in ex­is­tence, but we need to have the base. Ev­ery­body qual­i­fies, es­pe­cially pa­tri­otic play­ers, ir­re­spec­tive of where they come from,” Mashaba said.

He also re­vealed he was not aban­don­ing the Un­der20 (Ama­jita) project that was go­ing so well.

The 64-year-old men­tor said he will take the ju­nior team to Yaounde, Cameroon, for their African Youth Cham­pi­onships qual­i­fier be­fore fo­cus­ing on Bafana for their Africa Cup of Na­tions (Af­con) qual­i­fier against Su­dan in Khar­toum on Septem­ber 5.

“It is not nice to start a project and break it in be­tween, but we need strong ju­nior na­tional teams to build Bafana. I’ll see the Un­der-20 project right to the end and I will travel with the team to Cameroon for the first leg,” he said.

Mashaba added the plan was to qual­ify for the semi­fi­nals at the Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onships in Sene­gal in March to qual­ify as one of Africa’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the Fifa Un­der-20 World Cup in New Zealand next year.

“The sec­ond leg [against Cameroon on Au­gust 30] won’t be much of a prob­lem be­cause we would have ap­pointed a new coach by then,” he said.

Mashaba has al­ready guided Ama­jita to vic­tory in the Cosafa Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onships.

The coach’s strong words about Bafana means no one – in­clud­ing cap­tain Itumeleng Khune and his team-mates who rep­re­sented the coun­try at the 2009 Fifa Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup, the 2010 World Cup, the 2013 Af­con and the African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship – is guar­an­teed a place in the team.

Bafana will re­turn from Su­dan to face African cham­pi­ons Nige­ria in Cape Town on Septem­ber 10. They are in a group that also fea­tures Rwanda.

Mashaba said he is not wor­ried about the tough road ahead be­cause Safa has as­sured him that his man­date is to build for the fu­ture.

He said his plans are aligned with Safa’s tech­ni­cal mas­ter plan and all the ju­nior na­tional team coaches will re­port to him.

This state­ment raises ques­tions about the po­si­tion of tech­ni­cal direc­tor Safa has yet to fill. At­tempts to get clar­ity on the mat­ter from Safa au­thor­i­ties yes­ter­day were un­suc­cess­ful.

But Mashaba said: “I need a tech­ni­cal team that is fa­mil­iar with the ju­nior teams. We are build­ing for the fu­ture and it starts at grass-roots level. My man­date is au­to­matic be­cause the pres­sure of win­ning is there.”

Out­go­ing Bafana as­sis­tant coach Ser­ame Let­soaka – the last coach to have guided the Un­der-20s to a World Cup in 2009 – has been tipped to take over Ama­jita from Mashaba.

Let­soaka, a for­mer Safa tech­ni­cal direc­tor, re­cently guided a South African side at the Un­der-19 In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball Tour­na­ment that ended in Dur­ban yes­ter­day. Mean­while, Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan an­nounced on Fri­day that the ABC Mot­sepe League (sec­ond divi­sion) will be a na­tional league, with matches sched­uled to be tele­vised from next sea­son.

The cham­pi­ons will re­ceive a cash prize of R1 mil­lion, three times more than the Na­tional First Divi­sion over­all cham­pi­ons re­ceive.

This is thanks to the new R1 bil­lion sixyear broad­cast deal Safa has signed with Siyaya TV.

See News for things you might not know about Mashaba

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

NEW IDEAS

‘Shakes’ Mashaba says his plan to

re­build Bafana be­gins at grass-roots

level

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