So finally Bafana Bafana have a coach.
Safa sukkeled big time to find their man. Up until Stuart Baxter started talking to them on March 30, they had TWICE put out statements saying that they had found sealed the deal on a new coach.
But those deals failed to materialise.
At one point, Safa president Danny Jordaan said that he had seen 65 applications for the job.
One of the hopefuls for the post told me that it was a source of pride for Safa.
But when Jordaan bragged to him about the number of letters he had received, the man at the meeting asked: “But how many coaches?”
Funny, neh? Not really though.
The fact that this negotiations have been going nowhere so often should worry us fans.
All the talk of Vision 2022 has been the main issue and aim of the association.
But just how problematic is it?
When Shakes Mashaba took over in 2013, he was unveiled in Cape Town and it was a great chance for us in the local media to ask the coach about his thoughts about how they plan to implement that.
Shakes had few answers.
I’d love to hear what Baxter has to say. And we will certainly hear what his thoughts are about getting Bafana on track for qualification for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
It’s an absolute must for the nation’s football.
What I want to hear is who will be the core of the team heading into the tournament.
The new boss has to manage his players better than Shakes did, especially the overseas players.
The return of Kamohelo Mokotjo was a revelation in the most recent friendly matches.
The Netherlands-based midfielder looked like the real deal as he bossed the game for Bafana. His anticipation on defence and use of the ball gave South Africa the threat from deep that we’ve lacked for a very long time.
It gives the “creative” players around the striker more license to use their pace to get behind the opposition instead of playing in front of the backline.
Once the opposition is wary of the dangers coming from further away from goal, only then will the likes of “creator/finishers” Thulani Serero, Ayanda Patosi and Kermit Erasmus be able to come to the fore.
So often our route to goal has changed. We’ve seen pacy wingers stay wide with big target men, then they make way for inverted wingers who like to play off each other through the middle.
Whatever plan Baxter chooses to utilise must make every player effective.
All this waiting better be worth it. And I’m talking to both Safa and the new coach.