Tovey’s baby is development
Newly appointed Safa technical director Neil Tovey says his job does not include Bafana Bafana team selection.
His appointment was met with mixed reactions with the SA Football Coaches’ Association questioning the appointment of the former Bafana captain. Senior national team coach Shakes Mashaba endorsed the move by Safa to install the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations-winning skipper as the football governing body’s technical director.
A condition of Tovey’s appointment was that he did not interfere or view himself as a future Bafana coach. “I’ve got nothing to do with team selection but if I have my suggestions, I can always put them across in normal football conversations with the coach,” Tovey told City Press.
As his starting point, the erstwhile Kaizer Chiefs captain said he was on the verge of meetings with the provincial and regional technical officers.
“The first aspect is to get as much information as possible and get to meet the technical officers across the country.”
Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said the football governing body had already compiled a list of about 413 technical officers from around the country.
“We have already identified more than 250 of them and I will now leave it to Neil to complete that task [of appointing them],” he said.
The technical director’s mandate appears complex on paper as the job description means the person in charge is responsible for overseeing:
Development of players at grassroots level;
Executes the mandate of the technical committee;
Oversees the activities of national team coaches as well as provincial, regional and local technical officers; and
Oversees coaching education and development departments.
Safa Vision 2022 technical master plan
Junior and senior national teams, also in women’s football;
Establishing and implementing national competitions; and
Programmes for coaches and referees.
“We have to unpack the complexities and focus on key areas,” said Tovey, who turned 53 on Thursday. “I want to help lay the infrastructure that will be sustainable for years to come – with youth development and high performance centres in place.”
Already Tovey – who holds a pro coaching licence – comes to his new job with much experience in youth development, having laid the groundwork with SAB’s Search for the Superstars of Tomorrow programme and his work with schools.
Tovey’s involvement with youth football dates back to 1994 through the Transnet Neil Tovey coaching clinics – which laid the foundation for the Safa School of Excellence.
Tovey said he was in good health after being hospitalised following three heart attacks in February.
“My heart condition is good. I went for a checkup recently. I am good.”