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​Benni McCarthy: Is the Cape Town City mentor ready for Bafana Bafana?

18:50 GMT+3 05/08/2019
Kaitano Tembo of SuperSport United and Benni McCarthy of Cape Town City
A few local coaches have been tipped to take over from Stuart Baxter, but is Bafana's all-time goalscorer up to the task?

The South African Football Association (Safa) is on the hunt for a new coach following the resignation of Stuart Baxter last week.

While there's no indication of whether or not a local coach will be hired, the South African public, including high-profile coaches such as Pitso Mosimane, has backed a local coach to take the team forward.

Benni McCarthy's name has been bandied about, but the Cape Town City boss is yet to raise his hand if he wants the take job.

However, McCarthy previously said his ultimate dream is to coach the national team. 

But is he really ready for the job?


 

McCarthy is in his third season as a head coach, and he has done a fantastic job at Cape Town City, where he won them the MTN8.

Under McCarthy, the Citizens are playing exciting football, and are one of the big teams in the country.

John Comitis has already said he would okay the move should Safa come looking for his coach, but the truth is that McCarthy is still learning the ropes. 

Coaching a national team isn't an easy task for a number of reasons, and South African fans are very impatient. 

At this stage, McCarthy ticks all the right boxes and given the necessary support and time, he can do magic with Bafana Bafana. 

He has the winning mentality and has been there and done it as a player. Almost everyone in South Africa respects Benni for what he has achieved as a player. 

On average, Bafana coaches spend two years with the national team, meaning there is little time to build the team. 

Safa needs a proper structure to make Bafana a giant of African football again, and this is a project that will take time to yield positive results. 

The idea of bringing someone experienced from abroad would simply mean the problem was Baxter. 

But perhaps, it's time the nation accepted that there are more underlying problems with the national team and giving the job to someone young would be a step in the right direction.  

Senegal and Algeria have gone the local route with former players heading their technical teams, and the results are there for everyone to see. 

The same can be said about England, who handed the job to one of their own in Gareth Southgate, and there has been a turnaround of fortunes since his appointment because he understands the team better. 

McCarthy would not turn things around immediately if he is appointed, but he would bring back the identity Bafana Bafana has been looking for since the early 2000s. 

Safa always talks about the importance of developing players and giving them the chance to shine at the highest level of international football, and the same can be said about giving young South African coaches such as McCarthy that opportunity.

As unforgiving the country is when it comes to Bafana, McCarthy, whether or not he does badly as their coach, would be forgiven during the process of awakening this giant.