By FOCUS REPORTER
South African Football Association (Safa) President, Kirsten Nematandani says he is encouraged by the gathering of football coaches at the FIFA High Level Coaching course in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg.
There are 25 coaches and assistant coaches from various clubs around the country. Those in attendance at the week-long include Ernst Middendorp (Maritzburg United), Mandla Mazibuko (Asst. coach Under 17 National team); Mandla Ncikazi (Asst. coach Golden Arrows); Owen da Gama (Platinum Stars); Andries Mpondo (Moroka Swallows); Roger de Sa (Bidvest Wits) and Augustine Makalakalane (Banyana Banyana). There are also coaches from the University Schools Sports Association (USSA).
The participants are being offered the FIFA High Level Coaching Course, which includes the Futuro III coaching content. Added to the course will be the entry level of the CAF Licence B, which at the moment is the highest qualification on the continent – this will allow them to be able to work around the continent. Armed with that qualification, the participants will be able to qualify for the CAF Licence A when it is introduced in due course.
“What has happened here is that you have planted a seed, and now we need to see it bear fruit. As an Association we will ensure that such platforms are created for you coaches to deliver what is best for our country. This is indeed a rare moment, to see so many football brains gathered in one room and it is something that must happen on a regular basis for the good of our football. You must count yourselves as fortunate for being here. As a country we have been exporting players over a number of years – Lucas Radebe, Mark Fish, Phil Masinga, Aaron Mokoena, Steven Pienaar and Tsepo Masilela, to mention but a few. We are confident this course will change the trend and help South Africa to export coaches as well, because for us to be the best we need to work and play among the best,” said Nematandani.
On Wednesday, December 1, Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane, who is also one of the participants, presented his Vision 2014 program to the participants.
“The Bafana Bafana coach tells me you all have a buy-in on Vision 2014, and that is great news for our country. For far too long we have been working as individuals and now we need all hands on deck to assist him with this vision. Coach Mosimane said the key milestones will be qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the 2013 African Cup of Nations in Libya, as well as qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, now that is a big task and he cannot do it alone, he needs your help. As coaches you are the ones who work daily with the players, so you are better equipped to assist him and it is in such forums that information can be shared. Also, the Absa Premiership now carries the bulk of players in the Senior Men’s National team Bafana Bafana. We should continue with this forum going forward if we want to grow as a country,” added Nematandani.
The participants have been greatly impressed with what transpired throughout the week.
“This has been a great time for us, and not only the content part of it but also with the interaction between other coaches. As PSL coaches I think we are duty-bound to assist the national team coaches when they need players and also for developing them. We should have such regular gatherings because this one was very fruitful,” said Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Neil Tovey.
“Other than the certificate we will get out of this course, the main thing has been the knowledge that one got here. But now we need to ensure that we do not throw it away but put it into practice because if we don’t it would have been a futile exercise. At the end of the day the work we do at our clubs impacts on the national teams of our country so we have to keep that in mind when we go about our duties. In short, our jobs are somehow interlinked,” added Free State Stars coach Steve Kompela.
“Safa’s technical director, Serame Letsoaka, believes this was a good starting point and the future now looks bright for the country.
“I have always wondered why we as coaches never met. The CEOs, club chairmen and directors meet regularly but we technicians of the game never give ourselves time to discuss our business. But now that we have started, there is no turning back. I know many of the coaches sacrificed to be here in the middle of the season, and I would like to applaud them for the efforts and to assure them that this is one of many gatherings to come,” said Letsoaka.
The course ends on Friday, December 3.