SAFA selects coaching trio to assess Bafana

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Johannesburg - The South African Football Association (SAFA) has selected three South African coaches to assess the performance of Bafana Bafana.

The announcement was made by SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani after the national executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

"We have decided to appoint Supersport United Coach Gavin Hunt and former national coaches Jomo Sono and Clive Barker to go out and begin to assess our national team," he said.

According to Nematandani, the trio will closely monitor the national team's performance and then submit their reports to the association executive committee.

Hunt and the two former national coaches will be present during Bafana's second friendly match against Iceland next week.

Bafana departed to Europe on Tuesday and are scheduled to play a friendly against Norway on Saturday.

"We want them to give us an objective assessment on the general performance of the national team. This is our part of doing something about the state of the team," he said.

Both Barker and Sono have worked extensively with the national team. Barker was one of the most successful Bafana coaches and led the team to win the 1996 Africa Nations Cup.

Sono was appointed as caretaker coach of the Bafana Bafana in 1998, just before the African Nations Cup tournament in Burkina Faso. He replaced Philippe Troussier, who had been sacked just before the event.

Under Sono, the team reached the final of the tournament, but lost to Egypt. Taking the short time that he had to prepare with the team into account, it was considered a remarkable feat.

After a disappointing performance by the South African national squad during the 2002 African Nations Cup in Mali, Sono was again appointed a technical director to the team.

However, the head coach of the team at that time, Carlos Queiroz, felt that his position was being undermined by the appointment and resigned.

Sono was again appointed as caretaker coach, this time for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea.

During the 2002 Football World Cup, the South African squad did not progress beyond the first round. However, they managed to score five goals and achieved one win, one draw and a 3-2 loss against pre-tournament favourites Spain.

Former Bafana captain, Lucas Radebe, credited Sono with much of the team's performance, saying that he had instilled a good spirit within the team and that he had ensured a very positive atmosphere among the squad.

However, Sono is the longest-serving coach in the South African Premier League and also sits on the board of the Premier Soccer League.