Stuart Baxter wants Mark Fish to join Bafana Bafana technical team for Afcon 2019

The former England under-19 coach is hoping to reinforce his technical team ahead of the continental tournament in Egypt

South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter has admitted that he is keen to work with Mark Fish in the national team.

The English tactician hopes the legendary Bafana Bafana defender joins his technical team ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals due to Quinton Fortune's unavailability.

Baxter has been working with SA U17 head coach Molefi Ntseki as his assistant.

"We’re talking about the actual coaching‚ and with the loading‚ we [Baxter and Ntseki] can manage that‚" Baxter told the media. 

Fortune worked with Baxter during Bafana's 2019 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign in 2017.

"The more important part was to get somebody who could partly be with the squad – let’s call it player support. Someone who could get around the players and ask them‚ ‘how you are feeling‚ is the food OK‚ how’s the family?" he said.

"That sort of thing‚ and then‚ also be a scout. Quinton would have been OK. Quinton can’t do it. We’re contemplating someone like Mark Fish‚ for example, who’s very well known. So‚ after the Afcon‚ if he was to get on a plane and visit one of our young players they’d know Mark Fish. I’ve spoken to Mark. He’s considering his availability‚ and we’ll take it from there," he added.

Fish, who was one of the key players as Bafana clinched the 1996 Afcon title in South Africa, is yet to coach at a professional level.

Article continues below

"No‚ Mark is not a coach. He’s a very experienced football person. And he can understand what I’m looking for. When I send someone to monitor a team for me they’re only looking at maybe four or five things. I don’t want to know how the left-back laces his boots. What we need to know is how do they attack on transition? How do they attack when we are compact and they have got to break us down," Baxter revealed.

“How do they defend when we are on transition? How do they defend when we have the ball with our goalkeeper and they have their team organized. That’s all I need to know. The set-plays we can analyze on DVD. Now, I think Mark is more than capable. I think having a coach for that‚ they would be over-qualified. I think Mark‚ if he knows what we want‚ can do it. At the same time, I think there’d be a bit of friction if we went to an overqualified person and asked them to do it," he concluded.

Bafana are in Group D alongside Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia at the 2019 Afcon which will be hosted in Egypt between June 21 and July 19.