Take Bafana to town­ship sta­di­ums


I have de­cided to write this let­ter after notic­ing the de­clin­ing state of our foot­ball both in the PSL and Bafana Bafana. Our play­ers are not im­prov­ing: 70% of the time they play the ball back­wards and only start to push for­ward when the team is trail­ing. The ma­jor­ity of the teams play at a snail’s pace when com­pared to in­ter­na­tional foot­ball. If Bafana are to grow and be­come a force in Africa, it’s time Safa makes changes to our foot­ball and does things dif­fer­ently. These are my sug­ges­tions: 1. The 12th Man: It’s im­por­tant to start play­ing some of Bafana games in the town­ships like Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto, Makhu­long Sta­dium in Tem­bisa and Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium in At­teridgeville. Con­sid­er­ing the eco­nomic chal­lenges, the ben­e­fits of play­ing in the town­ship will re­duce the cost of trans­port for the sup­port­ers, guar­an­tee a full house and in­tim­i­date the op­po­si­tion. 2. High al­ti­tude over coastal venues: It’s im­por­tant to utilise ad­van­tages avail­able to us. We need to play games at high al­ti­tude when play­ing coun­tries from coastal ar­eas, so let’s play coun­tries like Ethiopia in Dur­ban, Cape Town or PE, and play coun­tries like Nige­ria, Cape Verde and Sey­chelles in Gaut­eng or Polok­wane. 60% of se­lected Bafana play­ers play in Gaut­eng, so it will make sense to con­sider town­ship sta­di­ums in Gaut­eng. Ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that play­ing coun­tries like Cape Verde and Libya in Dur­ban gave the ad­van­tage to op­po­si­tion teams. 3. Give Bafana more time: Safa and the PSL needs to come to­gether and give Bafana more time – we are go­ing nowhere with lim­ited prepa­ra­tion time. 4. Team se­lec­tion: It’s time we adopt the South African rugby con­cept where the head coach is sup­ported by a panel of ex­pert coaches ahead of key games to dis­cuss the type of play­ers re­quired for cer­tain games. To be clear, their job would not be to tell the coach who to se­lect, but ad­vise on the type of per­son­nel re­quired, like we did when we won the 1996 Na­tions Cup. In clos­ing, to KICK OFF, keep on the good work on your great mag­a­zine. I never miss a copy. Sekete Pa­trick Maphopha, via email

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