South African football just doesn’t have prolific goal scorers.
This was the sentiment of Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who has isolated the style of football played in the townships as the reason behind this phenomenon.
According to the coach, due to the emphasis on individual skill while playing on the streets, this has contributed to a lack of prowess in front of goal.
“I am not sure as to what happened. Our football comes from the townships, it’s a fact. When you look at boys playing in the townships, what do those children play? (Ha ba kore). They do not score, there’s no net or goal posts and when you score you give the ball and possession away,” Mosimane was quoted as saying by Daily Sun.
“What we end up doing is that we play ‘1-Pal’ game and we just dribble each other. So, we do not have a culture – we need to have goalposts and a net, which township has goalposts and a net? Let’s be honest guys."
Furthermore, Mosimane does not believe that anyone, including the national team, is immune to this problem.
“Who is our striker in Bafana and we are going to Afcon? It’s Percy, Lebo and who else? And Percy is a winger and I played him as a No 9 because he’s brave and he runs. Maybe we could say Tokelo Rantie but he’s not there. We have to scratch and scratch,” he remarked.
“Go to Pirates and see who is their No 9. You find the likes of (Justin) Shonga - you go to Chiefs you get Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat. You go to SuperSport United you will find Bradley Grobler. Where are the strikers?”
“It’s my analysis, I could be wrong, maybe somebody can tell us. Maybe guys at development level, or people like Neil Tovey in his position as Safa Technical Director can tell us where the problem lies or where we are going wrong,” a concerned Mosimane said.
“I attended Tovey’s book launch and I saw former hot strikers such as Shane McGregor, Shaun Bartlett, Les Grobler, Mark Williams and I said to myself these are the guys who were banging in goals.
"Myself, I used to score about 12 goals, and was far from being top scorer in those days, Marks Maponyane and Fani Madida used to do double those figures easily, and Chippa Masinga as well. So, we don’t have players like those today, where are they?”
South Africa have been drawn into Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations.