Safa, coaches on collision course
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.
LEARNING THE ROPES Thabo Senong is in charge of Amajita