Shakes to name his Bafana bench this week

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

The SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) has ap­proached world cham­pi­ons Ger­many, among oth­ers, to as­sist with a direc­tor of coach­ing.

This emerged this week as Safa chief ex­ec­u­tive Dennis Mum­ble told City Press: “We have ap­proached our part­ners the DFB [Ger­man Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion] and the KNVB [Royal Nether­lands Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion] to as­sist us,” he said.

Safa was sup­posed to an­nounce the name of the tech­ni­cal direc­tor at the same time they re­vealed Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba as Bafana Bafana coach.

But this did not hap­pen and it seems they have come un­stuck in their quest to rope in na­tional team’s for­mer men­tor Stu­art Bax­ter, who is con­tracted to Kaizer Chiefs, hence they have spread the search to Europe.

Mean­while, Ser­ame Let­soaka is set to re­tain his po­si­tion as Bafana as­sis­tant coach when Mashaba re­veals his tech­ni­cal staff this week.

Var­i­ous sources in­side Safa told City Press that Let­soaka – who served as as­sis­tant un­der Gor­don Ige­sund – will be ap­pointed the na­tional Un­der-23 coach, thus au­to­mat­i­cally be­com­ing the se­nior team’s as­sis­tant.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, Mashaba, who said dur­ing his of­fi­cial un­veil­ing last week that he needed a tech­ni­cal team that is fa­mil­iar with the ju­nior teams, will also rope in his cur­rent Ama­jita as­sis­tant Thabo Senong (34) into the tech­ni­cal team.

Mashaba rates Senong highly and he of­ten in­tro­duces the Mamelodi Sun­downs youth coach as the “en­cy­clo­pe­dia of youth foot­ball”.

Last week, Mashaba said his plans to re­build Bafana were aligned with Safa’s tech­ni­cal mas­ter plan, which puts more em­pha­sis on the devel­op­ment of play­ers and coaches.

Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan re­fused to re­veal the names of tech­ni­cal team mem­bers given to them by Mashaba.

“He will an­nounce his tech­ni­cal team when he comes back from Cameroon,” said Jor­daan.

Mum­ble said Safa hoped Ger­many and the Nether­lands would help “with the re­sources to make sure that the devel­op­ment of the game takes off the way we want it to”.

He added: “We also went to Fifa to talk about a pos­si­ble as­sis­tance be­cause we don’t want to get some­body that we are go­ing to throw into the deep end.”

He said in the mean­time, Mashaba would re­port to Fran Hil­ton-Smith, who has been act­ing tech­ni­cal direc­tor for the past 19 months. “The tech­ni­cal direc­tor of foot­ball is not an as­pir­ing na­tional team coach. It doesn’t mat­ter whether they are lo­cal or for­eign,” said Mum­ble.

PHOTO: SYDNEY MAHLANGU / BACK­PAGEPIX

MAK­ING A U-TURN? In­di­ca­tions are that Ser­ame Let­soaka may re­tain his Bafana as­sis­tant coach post

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