The Citizen (KZN)

Carnell has slice of Big Apple

FORMER BAFANA STAR RELOCATES TO THE UNITED STATES TO TAKE ON RED BULLS JOB New York team finally get their man after initial snub.

- Jonty Mark

Bradley Carnell is the latest South African export to New York, but don’t expect him to be swept away by the glamour of living in the Big Apple. “It is not like I am going to look out of my window and have Trevor Noah’s apartment view!” jokes the former Bafana Bafana fullback and the new New York Red Bulls assistant coach.

“I am staying about 30 to 35 minutes west of Manhattan, through New Jersey, it is not like there is a big wow factor. If there is a wow it will be because when I have a free day I can go to the city and spend the afternoon there.”

Carnell’s move to the States took many by surprise, but his connection to the Red Bulls dates back to his time as a player in the German Bundesliga. Carnell’s coach for part of his five seasonsor-so at Stuttgart in the late 1990s and early 2000s was Ralf Rangnick, who is now sporting director at RB Leipzig, the Bundesliga part of the Red Bull franchise.

The energy-drink manufactur­er also owns RB Salzburg in Austria, and clubs in Brazil and Ghana.

Carnell was initially offered a job in the New York Red Bulls academy, but at that stage he was an assistant coach at Orlando Pirates and says that was not the role he was looking for anyway.

“I was so excited about being at Pirates that it didn’t cross my mind, and it wasn’t in (first team) coaching, so I turned it down. I had a contract anyway at Pirates,” says the 40-year-old.

But when the Red Bulls returned to offer Carnell the post of assistant first team coach it was a different story.

“In November/December, the call came about the possibilit­y of being an assistant coach, I said that was more along the lines of what my bread and butter is at the moment, so I spoke to Irvin Khoza (the Pirates chairman) and they flew me out straight away to have talks and negotiatio­ns. I wanted to do things the right way and the chairman (Khoza) gave me his blessing.”

Carnell was also involved in “many a long-night skype call” with head coach at the Red Bulls Jesse Marsch and assistant Chris Armas, before he finally got a concrete offer.

“I had to persuade them … I am joining a coaching family that has been together a long time,” added Carnell.

“Since January I have got a nice picture of the team, I have had access to game footage and have been discussing individual player traits. It has been good from the outside but now I am looking to get in on the ground.”

Carnell has already been with the Red Bulls for a couple of weeks now, and said he also hopes to use his time there to further his coaching education. Carnell, who currently has an internatio­nal coaching licence not recognised by Uefa, says it will be far easier for him to do his Uefa coaching badges outside South Africa.

“This puts me in an organisati­on linked to Europe, where qualificat­ion badges are a lot more accessible – just a phone call away,” he says.

When asked if he got help from the South African Football Associatio­n in getting help with his Uefa badges, Carnell adds “no, not at all, which is a pity ... I didn’t want any special treatment, I wanted to say that if I go to Germany for six months, please can they book courses. A Uefa B licence was where I wanted to start, but I got no support in terms of that … they said I had to start at the lowest level, on terms with a secretary from a local high school … I didn’t want special treatment, but I thought after the service I have given … being part of the national team, playing in the World Cup … but I want it to be clear that this is not a gripe, it is just what it is.”

 ?? Picture: Backpagepi­x ?? BRADLEY CARNELL
Picture: Backpagepi­x BRADLEY CARNELL

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