Da Gama’s fu­ture on hold as Safa looks at ways to re­tain him

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

For­mer Bafana Bafana as­sis­tant coach Owen Da Gama will know this week if he still has a job at the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa).

Da Gama is no longer a part of the na­tional side’s tech­ni­cal team af­ter coach Stu­art Baxter opted not to rope him in.

Baxter has al­ready taken on Un­der-20 and Un­der-17 coaches Thabo Senong and Molefi Nt­seki as his as­sis­tants.

But, he said, this was on a tem­po­rary ba­sis and he would de­cide who would be part of his tech­ni­cal team be­fore the 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers against Cape Verde next month.

Safa chief ex­ec­u­tive Dennis Mum­ble told City Press that he would meet with Da Gama to see if he could be shifted within the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“It is clear that the as­sis­tant coaches’ con­tracts are tied up with that of the head coach. This means that Da Gama no longer has a con­tract with us, but I will be sit­ting down with him to see if he still has a role in the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” said Mum­ble.

He added that they were await­ing word from Baxter re­gard­ing who he pre­ferred to be part of his tech­ni­cal staff.

Baxter has al­ready hinted that he needs a for­mer Bafana player to join his staff. To this end, these names have been bandied about: for­mer Bafana mid­fielder Quin­ton For­tune, for­mer captain Aaron Mokoena and for­mer striker Shaun Bartlett.

Mum­ble said Safa would wait un­til the end of the Cosafa Cup to en­gage the coach on his re­quest.

How­ever, Da Gama said he was un­aware of the im­pend­ing meet­ing and that he re­mained in the dark about his fu­ture.

Baxter has al­ready roped in for­mer Su­per­Sport United and Or­lando Pi­rates goal­keeper coach Ale­jan­dro Here­dia to look af­ter his goalies.

This week, he also called in Joshua Smith to be the team’s fit­ness trainer in the ab­sence of Ka­belo “KB” Ran­goaga, who is in Ethiopia with Mamelodi Sun­downs.

Smith and Baxter worked to­gether at Su­per­Sport and the coach has made no se­cret of want­ing to re­tain his ser­vices for Bafana. But this may not go down well with some peo­ple, who be­lieve that Ran­goaga has been an as­set for club and coun­try.

Ran­goaga has been with Bafana since Gor­don Ige­sund coached the team, and play­ers hold him in high re­gard.

He trav­els to Europe for re­fresher cour­ses ev­ery off-sea­son and, early last month, he went to Por­tu­gal to keep up with mod­ern trends in foot­ball.

Mean­while, Mum­ble said Safa would go ahead and charge two ABC Mot­sepe League clubs with mis­con­duct and bring­ing the game into dis­re­pute.

The two – Buya Msuthu of North West and Lim­popo’s Dol­phins – would be hauled be­fore the as­so­ci­a­tion’s dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee to an­swer to sev­eral charges.

Mum­ble said Safa wanted to send a clear warn­ing to clubs and play­ers that it would not tol­er­ate any mis­con­duct.

PHOTO: ANESH DE­BIKY / GALLO IMAGES

IN THE DARK Owen Da Gama will know more about his fu­ture next week

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