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First on EWN: Igesund wants to stay

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has told EWN Sport that he wants to remain the national coach.

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has told EWN Sport that he wants to remain as the national coach. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has exclusively told EWN Sport that he would like to stay on as national coach ahead of a South African Football Association (Safa) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that could decide his future.

Igesund's job is under the spotlight with his contract expiring at the end of June, and doubts remain over whether to extend his tenure in light of the team's failure to advance past the group stages of the 2014 African Nations Championship and their quarterfinal exit at the African Cup of Nations.

Igesund is currently in New Zealand as he takes charge of Bafana's last friendly game of their Australasian tour.

Bafana play the Black Caps on Friday morning in their last game with Igesund in charge.

Igesund told EWN Sport why he should remain in the job.

"I've never had the opportunity to try and qualify the team for anything. I took over [the qualifying campaign] halfway through, and I had four games in the World Cup qualifiers, and I won three out of four. Unfortunately we didn't qualify, but the damage was probably done before I got to the national team. Having said that, whatever the decision is, we'll move on from there."

Looking ahead to the NEC meeting, Igesund said he was satisfied with what he has achieved with the side so far.

"I'm quite happy with what's happened so far. We've played 31 games, won 15 of them, drawn eight and only lost seven. The decision is Safa's, and they'll make up their mind. Obviously it will be very disappointing if I can't finish the work that I've started."

Igesund added that it will take some time for the team to play the way he wants it to, saying that he has only just begun to put his ideas into place.

"The first two years were very difficult, and we would never be where we are right now if we hadn't done the hard work in the beginning. It's a process, and we couldn't just continue doing what everyone had been doing before. We had to change things, and I think we're on the right track, so let's see what their decision is."

In regards to the NEC final decision on his future, Igesund says whether he or a new coach takes charge of the team ahead of the AFCON qualifiers, the ground work has been laid for the team to be successful in the future.

"I'm quite happy with the way things have gone. We have a squad of 40 players, and this group of 17 players I've got here, is part of that group to take us forward. Obviously there are a lot of players who aren't here, but if I'm not there, whoever comes in, has a nice platform laid out for them, and it will make their job much easier than mine was in the first two years."