Safa, coaches on col­li­sion course

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Safa is on a col­li­sion course with as­so­ciate or­gan­i­sa­tion the SA Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion (Safca) over the ap­point­ment of coaches.

The coach­ing body is not happy with the man­ner in which the gov­ern­ing body has ap­pointed ju­nior na­tional coaches.

Ac­cord­ing to Safca’s tech­ni­cal head, Simon Ngo­mane, the cur­rent na­tional setup with all its teams is bound to fail and should be re­viewed im­me­di­ately.

Ngo­mane’s un­hap­pi­ness stems from the fact that the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion dic­tates that ju­nior coaches as­sist whichever team is on the level above them, mean­ing that an Un­der-17 coach should serve as as­sis­tant to the Un­der-20 coach, who in turn helps the Un­der-23 coach. But with the na­tional Un­der-23 team in camp pre­par­ing for Olympic qual­i­fiers next month, coach Owen Da Gama could not be with Bafana for their cru­cial Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier against Gam­bia yes­ter­day.

This left Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba with only one as­sis­tant, Thabo Senong.

If the na­tional Un­der-20 team had qual­i­fied for their Fifa age group World Cup, which is cur­rently un­der way in New Zealand, Senong would have been down un­der with Ama­jita. “This sys­tem is far from ideal and needs to be im­proved and opened up a lit­tle bit.

“It doesn’t need a rocket sci­en­tist to see some­thing is wrong with this setup, as there will al­ways be a clash of pro­grammes. It is clear that there is a need to ap­point tech­ni­cal per­son­nel to lead this process,” said Ngo­mane. He said the ideal sit­u­a­tion would be to have about 12 coaches em­ployed on a full-time ba­sis and ro­tate them af­ter ev­ery phase. “As Safca, we don’t just want to vote but to make a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion to the as­so­ci­a­tion, but we have seen there is too much power play.

“We have no author­ity and re­main an as­so­ciate mem­ber.

“Safa must not scratch their heads when it comes to tech­ni­cal mat­ters be­cause we are here,” said Ngo­mane. A mem­ber of the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee also voiced un­hap­pi­ness at the cur­rent setup, not­ing that the ma­jor­ity of mem­bers did not agree with it.

He said they had raised their con­cerns at last week’s meet­ing but did not re­ceive any an­swers.

“In­ter­est­ingly, the ques­tion of the ap­point­ment of ju­nior coaches was raised at our meet­ing last week.

“We can­not al­low a sit­u­a­tion where the se­nior na­tional team coach dic­tates to us who should lead other na­tional teams. “This means th­ese peo­ple will al­ways take in­struc­tions from him be­cause they are his peo­ple. What if he is no longer there?” ques­tioned the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee mem­ber, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied.

He said they were taken aback when Mashaba told the com­mit­tee Senong was in fact the first as­sis­tant coach, in­stead of Da Gama.

How­ever, Safa re­sponded through a state­ment that de­clared there was noth­ing wrong with the cur­rent sys­tem. “Most of the Safca mem­bers are part of the Safa tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee team, where most of the mat­ters are de­lib­er­ated.

“Any­one who rushed to the me­dia is out of or­der. Safa will have to deal with the in­di­vid­u­als for not fol­low­ing pro­to­cols. Vi­sion 2022 talks of a syn­chro­nised/uni­form sys­tem of play and that can only be achieved by knit­ting var­i­ous na­tional team coaches to­gether.

“This means the Un­der-17 coach must be as­sis­tant to the Un­der-20 coach, who in turn must be as­sis­tant to the Un­der-23 coach and Un­der-23 to Bafana Bafana.

“The whole process is meant to en­sure South Africa main­tains an iden­ti­cal pat­tern of play,” read the Safa state­ment.

PHOTO: GER­HARD DURAAN / BACK­PAGEPIX

LEARN­ING THE ROPES Thabo Senong is in charge of Ama­jita

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