Mokoena backs Baxter for second spell at Bafana Bafana

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The British coach is appointed as the Bafana Bafana mentor for his second spell, and he has already earned the support of his former skipper

Legendary Bafana Bafana defender Aaron Mokoena says the re-appointment of Stuart Baxter to the national team hotseat will help with the restructuring that's ailing development structures in the country.

“His CV in South Africa tells a story. In general, he has been to different countries like Japan and England with the under-21's. Having worked with him, I know what type of person he is. Firstly, he is very honest.

“Secondly, he is very reliable and thirdly he is dedicated to his work. I think most of all, is the experience he has to put the youth development together,” Mokoena told Goal.

‘Mbazo’ skippered the side during Baxter’s first spell and led them to the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, but they failed to book a spot for the World Cup in Germany the same year.

Baxter quit the side in November 2005 after going down 3-2 to Senegal in the Nelson Mandela Challenge amidst increasing calls for his head following the failure to qualify for Germany.

His blueprint with regards to the instillation of fully functional youth academies and the reduction of the foreign quota to three (which he made in March 2004) has to date not been implemented.

Those are some of the same problems the SuperSport United coach will no doubt look to eradicate in his second spell.

“I’m sure during his negotiations with Safa, one of the main issues was how to reconstruct the development structures of South African football,” Mokoena said.

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“That is so important. It’s also important as well for Bafana Bafana qualify (for tournaments), but the biggest problem we’ve always had is the graduation of players to Bafana.

“We played in the under-17, U20, U23s and Bafana after us. What went wrong? I think it’s something Stuart is aware of,” Mokoena explained.

His first game back will be the 2019 Afcon qualifying opener against Nigeria next month.

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