Opinion: South Africa should select coach with African experience

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Safa named a few high profile coaches in the running for the Bafana Bafana vacancy. Who's your favourite choice?

Safa's short list is as good a list of foreign coaches I've ever seen linked with the Bafana Bafana vacancy.

The new belief placed in South Africa as a destination is a good sign for the future, and this faith is probably heightened due to the national team beating Senegal recently.

That home win gives Bafana a real chance to qualify for Russia 2018.

The likes of former SA coaches Carlos Queiroz, Stuart Baxter and Philippe Troussier were never famous. Later on Queiroz went on to impress the most, not only qualifying SA for the 2002 Fifa World Cup, but also moving on to brighter things as the Manchester United assistant to Alex Ferguson and becoming the head coach of Real Madrid.

However fame isn't necessarily the best ingredient as Bafana learnt with Carlos Alberto Parreira at the 2010 World Cup. The Brazilian's old age was a key criticism along with his lack of commitment, where Parreira left midterm for personal reasons and then returned for the tournament.

Roberto Mancini's arguably the best name in the short list, but Giovanni Trapattoni has the superior experience. The latter Italian is not only better for his international experience with Italy and the Republic of Ireland, but he's also coached AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. The real obstacle is his age - 77.

For relatively younger choices there's Matthaus who has national team experience at Hungary and Bulgaria, but doesn't have club success like Mancini. Bern Schuster has worked at better clubs than Matthaus, but he hasn't lasted anywhere, not too long at Real Madrid either.

European experiece is great for coaching Bafana at the World Cup but it counts for little to qualify the nation for Russia. For that you need to know how to win in Africa. For this reason I'd go with someone like Herve Renard ahead of Mancini. 

It's about time our best local coaches also supported the national team as assistants. A foreigner will need someone like Gordon Igesund, Clive Barker or Roger de Sa alongside him. Otherwise I'd also be confident in the likes of Gavin Hunt or Pitso Mosimane who's local knowledge would save time.

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Mosimane, Hunt and Eric Tinkler probably won't leave their club positions to be an assistant. However if we do qualify for Russia, working for South Africa for just the tournament should be a viable option. That's a leaf we need to take from Brazil.

 

 

 

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