Stuart Baxter up for the challenge of balancing SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana
Posted: 7 May 2017 Time: 13:19
Stuart Baxter has conceded it is difficult to balance his focus as he looks ahead to important encounters with both SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana.
Safa this week confirmed Baxter will take over as head coach of the South Africa national team at the end of the current season, meaning the Brit will still oversee Matsatsantsa’s remaining Absa Premiership, Nedbank Cup and CAF Confederation Cup commitments.
The 63-year-old previously led Bafana as coach between 2004 and 2005 before being relieved of his duties after South Africa failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Bafana Bafana start the all-important 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers next month against Nigeria in Lagos, and Baxter will have to name the squad before the domestic season ends on May 27, in order to give the national team time enough to prepare.
SuperSport, who remain in the hunt for a top-three finish in the league after beating Polokwane City yesterday, are also in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals as defending champions and come up against surprise package in this year’s tournament, Chippa United.
With his attentions now split between two weighted tasks, Baxter has admitted the challenge is not an easy one but was resigned to comment on the situation while Safa president Danny Jordaan is out of the country due to CAF and Fifa duties, but insisted he was very much up for the challenge.
"I've got to tell you straight away that Safa have asked me not to comment on my role with them in detail because obviously, the president is out of the country," said Baxter commenting for the first time since his re-appointment.
"And also for me, it is out of respect to my present employer [SuperSport United] who has been very good to me but if I give you a general comment, it's like it's not easy to be there on the SuperSport bench with people asking national job.
"It's not easy looking to the future seeing important games coming up with SuperSport and the national team to try and split yourself to do both, it's not easy.
"But it is a challenge I thought and hard about, and it is a challenge I want to take on."
During his first stint as Bafana Bafana coach, Baxter was in charge for 23 games, winning 10, drawing six and losing seven.