Baxter braced for club vs country challenge

SAFA today announced the new Bafana coach would share his vision for the national team at a press conference at SAFA House on Monday, scheduled to start at 14h00.

Amajita boss Thabo Senong is battling to field his strongest team at the upcoming U-20 World Cup, a challenge Baxter is familiar with from his first stint in charge of Bafana from May 2004 to November 2005.

“Monday I will have press conference, you will hear more about my plans,” said Baxter, who is currently preparing SuperSport United for their CAF Confederation Cup Group D opener against Guinea's Horoya AC at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday. The Brit will continue to guide Matsatsantsa until the end of the season.

“I don’t think it's the right platform [a CAF press conference] to start talking about issues of Bafana or issues of releasing players. That issue of club versus country is an old issue. I had the same problem in England [with U-19 team], I lost 15 players going to the European Championships. I had the same problem with Bafana. It's all based on relationships and relationships must be improved. So on Monday when speaking to the press about my hopes it will also include about relationship improvements.”

Last week SAFA named Baxter as Ephraim Mashaba’s replacement following the sacking of 'Shakes' in December 2016.

Baxter's first assignment on his return to the Bafana hotseat will be an African Nations Cup qualifier away to Nigeria on the weekend of June 9-11.