SAFA to move speedily to appoint new Bafana coach

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - The South African Football Association (SAFA) will move with speed to appoint a new coach for Bafana Bafana, says SAFA Vice-President Mandla 'Shoes' Mazibuko.

"We are still searching for the best possible candidate to coach our national team, but we are not going to move with speed, so that the coach will be able to prepare the team to compete consistently well during the 2010 FIFA World Cup," he told BuaNews on Tuesday.

This after Bafana head coach Joel Santana resigned from the national team on Monday, just eight months before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mazibuko said as the new SAFA leadership, they were not going to appoint a coach who will be starting afresh; a coach who is not familiar with the country's football fraternity and players.

"We are not going to appoint someone who will tell us that our players are too thin or too short, but someone who will manage to get good results out of such players," he said.

Asked when they were going to announce the appointment of the new coach, Mazibuko said: "We've not set any deadline because we don't want to put ourselves under necessary pressure.

"We don't want to raise any hope, but before the national team plays the international friendly against Japan, we would be done with this process of appointing the new coach."

Bafana Bafana is left with two matches before the end of the year. They face Japan on 14 November and Jamaica three days later in Bloemfontein.

Santana had come under severe criticism after a string of poor results by the national team. After an improved performance during the Confederations Cup, things got bad for the national team managing to win only one out of their nine international matches.

On Monday, after Santana's resignation, the management committee resolved that Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane would assume the role of caretaker coaches, pending a decision by the national executive at its meeting to be held on Friday.

The President of the association Kirsten Nematandani thanked Santana for his efforts to date and wished him success in his future ventures.

Similarly, Santana took the opportunity to thank the association, his technical staff, the players, and the country for their support, and wished Bafana-Bafana every success for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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