14 February 2019 – There has never been doubt as to the demand for qualified and recognised coaching skills, knowledge and attitudes as provided through the coaching education programmes of SAFA. Perhaps the multiplicity of coaching success stories associated with these coaching programmes has something to do with it.

It requires no rocket science to notice that the SAFA Junior National Teams and Banyana Banyana are coached by South Africans who went through a stringent process of training under different and well qualified SAFA instructors led by luminaries such as Horst Kriete, Simon Ngomane, Michael Nees, Conti Kubheka and the late Ted Dumitru (may his soul rest in peace).

The rate of success being registered by these national teams in recent times and the ever-increasing promise of even more success and greatness, convey credibility to the coaching education programmes, quality of delivery and assessment standards. Stuart Baxter, Bafana Bafana head coach, on the other hand, is currently working closely with one sharp product of the SAFA Coaching Education Programmes, Molefi Ntseki.  The latter confesses to learning salient lessons in the company of Stuart with the express hope that the exposure he is receiving under the experienced English man shall be dovetailed into a coaching personality of his own and benefit the nation when his time to lead at that level comes one day. He has the skills to do so, just like Desiree Ellis did from Vera Pauw of Holland at Banyana Banyana. A question of skills transfer one can guess.

Acknowledging the truth that these teams did not yet win major international competitions yet does not prevent us from believing that the stories of the emerging Jabulile Baloyi, world cup qualifiers Desiree Ellis, Simphiwe Dludlu and Thabo Senong, just like Molefi Ntseki in 2015, are a living testimony that South Africans, given the opportunities and the mandatory support and confidence can stand their ground against any other competitor elsewhere.

At club level the success stories of Pitso Mosimane in particular, and without underplaying great professional contributions of other South African coaches such as Steve Komphela, Paul Johnson, Manqoba Mnqithi, Khabo Zondo, Wendel Robinson, Clinton Larsen, Mandla Ncikazi, Cavin Johnson, Walter Steenbok, Kwanele Kopo and others, is referred to with a combination of pride and humility for we are fully aware of the new standards the game is demanding in major competitions.

Recently CAF restored the licence coaching courses. The interest to enrol for such courses, either as a beginner or advanced candidate, by a variety of South Africans and foreigners has been amazing to say the least. The questions we ask:

  1. Have these coaches been building their coaching profiles by actually coaching and testing the knowledge, skills and attitude they learnt against their workability in their competitive coaching environments?
  2. Have the coaches tested these theories to the extent that they can provide informed critiques and not just be swayed by content and philosophies merely because these are associated with a World Cup winning national team or a famous coach?
  3. Have coaches been going the extra mile in acquiring further knowledge, skills and experiences in new environments for their growth away from a formal coaching course?

In conclusion it may be a matter of common knowledge that the likes of Pitso Mosimane were already a fountain of knowledge when they attended SAFA and now CAF coaching courses. They proceeded with the same eagerness to break new grounds through learning and stay both relevant and competitive. Recently Thabo Senong followed suit. The man engaged the Total Football concept in Holland from his own pocket. In any technical engagements today, he has gone a level higher than yesterday and he oozes the technical attractiveness that is given credence to by the humble but huge Amajita leap. Turn a blind eye to Amajita at your own risk!