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SAFA must build for a long-term future

Posted: 14 July 2014 Time: 11:25

Two years ago, shortly after Bafana Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, I wrote an article on the way forward for our national team. 

I suggested that SAFA and Gordon Igesund, still new in the job then, look beyond the 2013 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and instead build a team that will not only qualify us for the 2018 World Cup, but also make us competitive.

That ‘plan’ included getting rid of all the older players in the squad and throwing our lot with young stars like Ayanda Patosi, May Mahlangu and Thulani Serero – guys who should be at their peak come the tournament in Russia.

I called on SAFA and the public to understand a longer term vision where results are not as paramount as building a cohesive unit that could dominate the continent for years to come.

But, this being South African soccer where coaches’ reigns are dictated by the immediate results they achieve rather than looking at that bigger picture, very little was actually done and now, two years on, we find ourselves in the same mess of the last decade or so.

But how different it could all be. Just imagine we had taken the approach of Germany – a traditional footballing nation who were down in the dumps at the turn of the century, and who realised long-term planning was needed.

Rather than panic at a few negative results first off, they stuck by their coach and his plans to build a legacy – planning that ultimately resulted in their fourth World Cup title last night.

Coach Joachim Loew summed it up perfectly after the match, saying: “I think this title will give us a push for the future; we don't have many players in the squad above 30.

“Look at Gotze, Muller, Ozil and Reus, who wasn’t here – there are a lot of players who can still achieve a lot in their careers.

“The Bundesliga has a huge influence on the team and the training the young players get; we had an extremely young team in South Africa in 2010.

“In 2000 and 2004, German football was down and out, we went out in the group phases so we took decisive steps and invested more in the players’ education.

“It wasn't enough just to rely on German virtues, we had to get better on the pitch.

“We created centres of excellence and I am grateful for the clubs who did that. This World Cup victory is a product of the excellent education and training in Germany.”

SAFA are on the verge of appointing a new coach – one that will be tasked with getting Bafana to the World Cup. But will he be given the time to see his plans through?

History suggests that, unless he achieves instant success, he will not. Bafana have had 17 different coaches since readmission in 1992. Germany have had 10 different coaches since 1926… 

But hopefully the suits at SAFA will take note of the German approach and the reward it yields. They may as well … we have nothing more to lose.

You agree? Tell me @KickOffCooper

Livefyre comments on this story...

posted: 2014-07-14 09:39:29

Bafana have had 17 different coaches since readmission in 1992. Germany have had 10 different coaches since 1926…


Nice one! But you are actually speaking to walls here. Even the editor who posted this is a wall with no eyes or ears, just a wall with a small hole that makes noise!

GinoFeelo Balotelli
posted: 2014-07-14 09:47:23

We shud just ban all international football activities until further notice....**there is no remedy for our curse as yet***Mediocre management, coaches and rubbish players***Asilindeni kancane**

posted: 2014-07-14 09:48:56

SAFA is just like the ANC.Expect nothing from it, because nothing is exactly what you will get, except promises for the future of course. Danny will soon give us a 2030 Football NDP.

posted: 2014-07-14 09:50:09

One of the policies Germany adopted was 5 foreign players on your books and only 3 can play at a point in time this forced clubs to use players that can represent the country

Braveheart de XVI
posted: 2014-07-14 09:50:49

Lol ndivumelana nawe Feelosopher (The Balotelli of Kick Off) khosi. 

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2014-07-14 09:51:08

@ Ryan,

It's easy to put blame on SAFA. I would have appreciated if your article included the role the journalist play in destroying our football.  

papamokhuane the return baba
posted: 2014-07-14 09:51:42

pointing fingers 

posted: 2014-07-14 09:51:43

been saying dis for over 10yrs now, for as long as teams ignore young players from remote, rural, unfashionable places like Mpumalanga Lowveld our soccer standard will continue to decline rapidly. ultimately affecting Bafana Bafana.

The Bull
posted: 2014-07-14 09:51:55

i lost faith in SAFA,They hired and fired coaches based on the media opinion,whoever is coming to coach Bafana and does not get along with BBK,Nkareng and Mazola,the person will criticized and safa succumb from pressure and eventually fired him.they fired coaches every two years and i doubt if they are leaning from other national teams like for now,i will wait to see the results before i start being positive.  

posted: 2014-07-14 09:53:24

I hope you're not talking to deaf ears this time around Mr. Editor. SAFA is mostly administered by clueless people who have never played football.

posted: 2014-07-14 09:54:29

Is the problem with Suffer or Poor Soccer League

posted: 2014-07-14 09:55:20

Safa uSafa Safa is killing our football in this country...

Braveheart de XVI
posted: 2014-07-14 09:55:34

Kukho iSundowns enabadlali abayi 75, 50 ziforeigners 25 zilocal players iBafana soze iyendawo

posted: 2014-07-14 09:56:15


? Chief Tsonga ?
posted: 2014-07-14 09:57:34

Kickoff blogger dictionary continues.....pt2

...bisi: Is a suffix for PSL strikers showing similar form to "legendary" strike Sibisi. e.g. Erasbisi

Contract talks: A time where an Orlando Pirates players question their future in the club while volunteering and as ball boys.

Gayfair: Formerly known as Mayfair, a place where Orlando Pirates team resides. The name change was influenced by media coverage of what appeared like homophobic behavior in the camp.....The trophy molestation incident did not help as well.

Insurance papers: A contract handed to a player who is injury prone when the club loses faith in their ability.

Next week: A time in the undetermined future where important Kaizer Chiefs announcements will be made. Should not be confused with the calender days.

Manto: A lady blamed for all the bad decisions made by the chairman

Punchy Mcpunchington: A player known more for his fighting skills  that football skills

Sinister forces: People responsible for terminating aging players contracts behind the scenes

The chairman: Irvin Khoza.

posted: 2014-07-14 09:57:38

Chop and changing coaches

posted: 2014-07-14 09:58:08

I think Ryan you know by now that is what we have been calling for as supporters(at least some of us), it won't help us trying to find a quick solution, but rather develop our own, there are 17 year olds that are telented in this country who can be groomed for a 2022 World Cup, we will call for development until Jesus comes if SAFA is still being run by clueless Administrators like it is today we won't nowhere, a fresh start is what we need right.


Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2014-07-14 09:58:39

Nyawana was make king by journalists. His one hit wonder goal during the 2010 WC was seen as an achievement by them journalist. Instead of engaging the issue mediocrity & underperformance on the home soil, they wanted us to celebrate mediocrity.

Now they are blamming Safa as usual but are not calling for retirement of the likes of Nyawana et al.

Donald Duck
posted: 2014-07-14 10:00:05

There is no such thing as building a national team. The rise of Germany in international football is as a result of the rise of the Bundasliga as the best league in the world with German clubs dominating European competitions. That meant the coach had better players to choose from. The same thing happened with Spain when Barcelona was dominating Europe, Spain also dominated. He did not build those players.. We need to get away from this building mentality that lets people accept mediocre perfomance in the name of building..

posted: 2014-07-14 10:00:32

Coaches dont play in the field they select a team to play we don't have players that can compete and we busy filing ourselves that we have we cannot even compete in the southern twin with local players where we should be worth all the infrastructure we have then we blame coaches

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