Ex-Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar starts coaching, but admits it’s not easy


After retiring earlier this year, former Bafana Bafana and Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar has started his coaching courses and reveals the advice he got from Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy.

The former Ajax Cape Town midfielder says it is not easy to man the touchline as he got a taste of what it is to shout instructions on the sidelines.

Pienaar started with Uefa A and B licence courses in Ireland this month‚ but he is still weighing up whether or not that is his next career path.

The former Bafana skipper revealed he has had offers to begin working in the youth structures with Everton‚ and will consider those or perhaps going into television analysis work.

Moreover, the Westbury-born legend admitted that coaching is not an easy job, but said he will continue with his studies next year as he enjoyed the first part.

Pienaar retired after playing for Europeans clubs such as Ajax Amsterdam‚ Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur, but came back last year to join Bidvest Wits where he spent six months, before announcing his retirement in March 2018.

“He [Benni] gave me some advice on where to go if you want to do your badges‚ and the people who you work with‚” Pienaar said to the Sowetan.

“A lot of people think it’s easy to become a coach when you’ve been a player‚ but actually there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes‚ and you have to study stuff that as a player you were used to doing," said the legend.

“And we take it for granted when we see coaches out there – they have to put in the hours to make sure that the whole team functions,” he continued.

Outlining his first step towards becoming a coach, he added that to become a television pundit, one needs to know more about the game from a technical point of view.

“Last week was actually the first time I stood on a pitch and gave some sessions‚” he added.

“I enjoyed it being out there. But I’ll have to wait and see if it really is for me. It was the Uefa A and B. I have to continue again next year for the part two,” he continued.

“I did it in Ireland because the waiting list in Holland is too long‚ and they only take a certain amount of coaches. In Ireland if you’ve played international football you go straight in," explained Pienaar.

“You have to learn if you want to become a coach. You have to put the hours in. And for me the course is a start," said the former midfielder.

“If I want to go into TV work‚ be an analyst‚ you need that coaching information behind you. You have to see things that other guys don’t see,” acknowledged the Telkom Knockout Cup winner with Wits.

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On whether or not he will follow his former Bafana teammates and former players such as McCarthy and University of Pretoria’s Shaun Bartlett, the 36-year-old said he is undecided for now.

“It depends. Everton asked me a few times if I want to come in and start doing some work with the kids‚ the Under-15s and U-18s. And obviously you need your coaching badges‚” Pienaar responded.

“It would be a great place to start and learn the trade‚ and work with good guys around you. Who knows‚ maybe in the next few months I’ll be standing on a field,” he concluded.