Radebe: New Bafana coach must know SA football

Bafana Bafana have been without a head coach since Shakes Mashaba was sacked in December.

FILE: South Africa's Thulani Serero (R) celebrates with Keegan Dolly (L) after scoring a goal. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Former Bafana Bafana captain and Laureus Ambassador Lucas Radebe believes the next national team coach must be familiar with the traditions and norms of South African football and is also wary of appointing a foreign coach with no experience in the country.

“It’s important that whoever takes over the reins, he has to understand and buy into the structures of what we want to achieve in this country and be involved all the way through,” Radebe said.

Radebe was appointed as a member of the Safa technical committee alongside the likes Benni McCarthy and were tasked with selecting a national team coach.

Bafana have been without a head coach since Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba was sacked in December and Safa vowed to appoint someone in February which in turn became March and subsequently April.

Safa announced that they will appoint a new coach within the next two days. The front runner for the position seems to be Stuart Baxter who is currently with local outfit SuperSport United.

Radebe is not a big fan of appointing someone with no experience on the continent and in the country and Baxter seems to fit the former Leeds United’s captain’s profile.

“We're still looking for a permanent manager who will take the national team to the next level and realise the talent that’s here in terms of the tradition and the culture and the philosophy of football in the country.”

The legendary defender, who was capped 70 times for Bafana Bafana, also added that the appointee must know and get on with the players.

“If you look at international coaches that have come over, do they understand our philosophy? Do we have philosophy? Does he buy into the structures of the organisation which is the FA (Safa)? It’s very important and you're going to have to be careful because it might be someone who could come in and not be popular.”

Another small matter is that Bafana have a daunting Afcon qualifier next month against Nigeria.

Mashaba’s former assistant, Owen da Gama, was in charge of two international friendlies at the end of March. Radebe was suitably impressed with the display under the interim boss.

“Bafana Bafana’s performance with Owen was absolutely great. So it’s a challenge, it’s not that easy. You need someone who is going to be there long term, who is going to buy into the vision.”