Molefi Ntseki: Is new Bafana coach the right man to take South Africa forward?

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Variava feels it makes sense for Safa to have appointed Ntseki as interim coach for Bafana, but Makhaya feels the country's FA should have waited

The South African Football Association (Safa) opted for the cheapest option when they appointed Molefi Ntseki as Bafana Bafana head coach on an interim basis.

Ntseki's appointment came on the back of the Stuart Baxter's resignation on Friday. 

The Botshabelo-born mentor has been with the national team for five years, two of those with Bafana as one of Baxter's assistants. 

While he may be considered too young for the post, he has definitely earned his stripes at the junior level with Amajimbos.  

However, is the 49-year-old the right man to take Bafana Bafana forward? 

Goal South Africa editor Ernest Makhaya and his assistant editor Yusuf Variava discuss whether or not Ntseki is the right man to the team forward.

Variava's opinion 

Molefi Ntseki, South Africa - July 2018

Molefi Ntseki’s appointment is one that might not be the most glamorous, but it certainly makes the most sense.

The South Africa U17 coach has been a major part of the national team setup for some time, and the knowledge he has gained working alongside Baxter and several other national team coaches makes him ideal for the role.

Ntseki is certainly not a long-term solution, and it is unlikely he will get the top job on a permanent basis, but for now, it does make financial sense. 

Getting an interim coach from outside the setup would prove cumbersome and costly, and with no competitive games set between now and Safa's projected timeline of appointing a coach by the end of the month, Ntseki’s appointment could be merely symbolic but also practical. 

However, should Safa fail to secure their chosen man by the end of the month, then having Ntseki at the helm might also prove to be wise. 

He is unlikely to move away drastically from the tactics and game plan which his predecessor displayed. 

While Baxter’s football was never the most attractive on the eye, it was effective, and Ntseki has a solid platform to build on. 

Makhaya's opinion 

Molefi Ntseki, South Africa - June 2019

I personally don't have a problem with Safa appointing Ntseki as interim coach, but perhaps they should have waited a little bit longer before finding someone to fill the void left by Baxter. 

Over the years, whenever Safa fired the head coach, they resorted to elevating the assistant to the hot seat - be it with matches in between or not. 

For instance, it was Steve Komphela who took over from Pitso Mosimane in 2012. This was again the case when Shakes Mashaba was shown the exit door in 2016 as his assistant at the time, Owen Da Gama, took charge of the national team. 

But these are just short-term solutions and with Bafana not in action until September, it would have made enough sense. 

Take nothing away from Ntseki; he is a very capable coach, but he is not ready to take over Bafana and put the team where the nation wants it, and I'm certain that the Safa technical committee which appointed him knows this too. 

What baffles me is how Safa continues to make the same mistake over and over again, by appointing interim coaches they know that they are not going to be given the job at the end of their search. 

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I'd have preferred them to appoint someone they are already looking for on an interim, and while this would have taken time given negotiations, it would have made things easier when negotiating for a permanent contract.  

Remember how they did it with Desiree Ellis? Although they waited for too long to give her the job, it was worth it and the country is reaping the rewards of a coach whom the players were already familiar with even before the appointment was made permanent. 

I'm certain at one stage Safa had expected Baxter to resign, especially after the Afcon 2019 tournament exit, and they would have set their eyes on someone else whether local or abroad.

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