Gavin Hunt and Gordon Igesund are among several South African coaches to get it right in Caf competitions.
Hunt is one of the most tactically and technically astute coaches locally, but he will hope to raise the bar in 2018.
Currently in charge of the reigning league champions, Bidvest Wits, the 53-year-old is yet to reach the group stages of any of the two Caf competitions despite qualifying on a number of occasions.
Despite a trophy cabinet filled with three Premier Soccer League trophies whilst in charge of SuperSport, a league, MTN8 Cup and Telkom Knockout trophy with the Clever Boys, Hunt is still hoping to make his name for himself on the continent.
However, in this year’s edition, he has led his troops to a 2-1 aggregate win over Mauritian side, Pamplemousses after winning 2-0 at home and losing 1-0 away from home.
Ahead of him is a tough encounter against Angola’s 1º De Agosto on Wednesday in the first round and aggregate win will secure them a spot in the second round.
Contrastingly, a number of South African managers such as Pitso Mosimane, Cavin Johnson, Eric Tinkler and Roger de Sa, have reached the group stages of Caf competitions.
Just last season, Johnson, now with AmaZulu, led Platinum Stars to the group stages last year in the Caf Confederation Cup before he parted ways with the now relegation-threatened outfit.
Apart from Hunt, Gordon Igesund is another South African coach who had the chance to try his luck against the continent’s best in previous years.
Igesund was in charge of Orlando Pirates in 2001 until 2002, but was not part of the technical team in the continental competition after the winning the league.
He went on to join Santos and lifted the league title. The former Manning Rangers manager went on to the continent to test his mettle.
In the first round, the People’s Team were pitted against Tanzania’s Simba SC and the first leg and failed to use the home ground advantage.
A trip away to Dar es Salaam could not produce a winner either, and the Mother City side was dispatched on penalties.
This season alone, South Africa will see Hunt and his student, Benni McCarthy who will lead Cape Town City in the first round of the Caf Confederation Cup against Mozambique’s Costa Do Sol in the first leg this week.
In what is seen as a student and a protégé, McCarthy and Hunt are aware that to join their counterparts, they must beat the Angolans and Mozambicans over two legs to edge a step close to writing their names in history.
Steve Komphela, another South African coach who has been in charge of several PSL teams since the early 2000's, is also yet to test himself outside the South African borders.
Perhaps Komphela still has to prove himself domestically to fully qualify to be included in this list, but even without winning locally, he had the chance to lead Kaizer Chiefs in the Caf Champons League in 2016.
However, he couldn't get past the first round and he still has a lot to prove on the African continent, let alone locally where he hasn't won anything major as a coach.