Bartlett roped into Bafana setup


Bafana take on The Pirates in home and away 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers during the current international break, and Baxter has made technical team reinforcements.

The Briton has invited Bartlett into his camp to join national Under-17 team head coach Molefi Ntseki as his second assistant.

The 45-year-old former Golden Arrows and University of Pretoria coach brings a different perspective into the setup, having previously donned the same kit and carried the same responsibility as the current crop of players.

Baxter has revealed that Bartlett has been appointed on a game-to-game basis, with a view of possibly utilising his experience on a longer-term basis.

“We have one other addition to the squad, which is Shaun Bartlett. He has entered into an agreement, I think it’s a more of a game-by-game [agreement] in the beginning,” said Baxter.

“Obviously we are looking at bringing Shaun into the staff and we just want to make sure that he likes us, and we like him, so it’s welcome to him.“

Baxter also explained that Bartlett’s appointment was a joint decision involving himself, technical director Neil Tovey and the rest of the association hierarchy.

“As soon as we knew that Shaun was free, we wanted to get him involved. That was me, that was Neil, that was everybody, because I think it’s going down the right road,” he added.

“The idea for me came from when I was at the English FA, we had two – let’s call them legends, if you want – to attend, inspire and get a feel for the coaching side, while encouraging them to take their coaching licences.

“I thought that was a great idea, and both the players benefitted from it. The coaches had another voice we could ventilate ideas with, and I’ve tried with Rhulani [Mokwena] and another one that didn’t come out in the media as spectacularly.

“It wasn’t a question of let’s take him from that club and steal him; it was just let’s try and reward our up and coming coaches and give them a bit of inspiration by being around the national team, and then going back to their clubs and carrying on with their work.

“But at the same time saying, ‘Hello, this is me’ to the national association. I think that’s win-win, and we haven’t done it until now. Shaun’s was easier because no one suspected we had any other motive, than let’s get Shaun involved because it’s part of that concept.”