IS LOCAL REALLY LEKKER?
Written by: Sihle Makhowana
South African coaches have had to work hard in proving their credibility compared to their international counterparts when it comes to pleasing the South African sports audience.
There have been several South African-born coaches who have, in the past, requested the opportunity to coach national teams. However, it appears that the few which have been chosen were given half the chance.
Shakes Ephraim Mashaba is the current Bafana Bafana coach, and has immense experience with football development in South Africa, having coached the under 17, under 20 and the under 23 side. Mashaba succeeded Gordon Igesund after his unsuccessful run was brought to an end in 2014 following several failed attempts to meet with the South African Football Association’s expectations. One being qualifying for the African Cup of Nations.
Mashaba’s appointment was welcomed by many football followers all saying the future of South African football is in good hands considering his experience with the development sides.
Luka Scott, a Bafana Bafana fan told JournalismIziko that coach Mashaba has been the Bafana coach for a while and he has been given more time than others.
“He’s a good coach and he knows the system and knows the players in and out of SA as well. I think he does field the best team on the day, it’s a ball playing side. I can also say that he can be the coach to give this team an identity,” said Scott.
“The case could be argued and say replace him. Okay with who? A foreign coach won’t give you identity, I don’t see a single SA coach that is better with that experience and besides a foreign coach is brought in to improve individuals and team play. So a foreign coach is probably not the answer and I think most of people know this. I don’t think shakes is doing bad and for the first time in a long time, I haven’t heard of any sort of pressure on a SA head coach,” added Scott.
Recent poor results produced by the Bafana Bafana and many failed attempts to qualify for the African Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup have left Mashaba’s future as Bafana Bafana coach hanging by the thread.
The South African national rugby team, Springboks, better known as the “Boks”, is rated amongst the best rugby national teams in the world. According to world rugby rankings, the Boks have secured 3rd spot behind Australia and the top spot being occupied by New Zealand.
It appears that the Springboks have for a while been enjoying good result before racial transformation was initiated in the game which plenty of people are blaming for the poor run by the springboks.
Earlier this year Sport and Recreation Minister, Fikile Mbalula, imposed sanctions on South African rugby for not initiating racial transformation within the team.
After Mbalula’s decision, many rugby followers took to social media to voice out their opinions about the ministers decision and one comment which gained prominence and went viral was that of Matthew Theunissen where he made racial slurs aimed at all government officials.
SA rugby is currently in a process to bid for the honours to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and with the sanctions not being lifted the future looks quite bleak.
Sphesihle Mbambo, an aspiring rugby player, told JournalismIziko about the challenges that they too as players face due to lack of transformation.
“The South African sport fraternity is unforgiving especially if you a person of colour be it a player or a coach you still will be looked different,” said Mbambo.
“Coach Allister Coetzee has coached many teams, incredibly skilled teams and he did wonders with those teams but as soon as he is appointed as head coach of the Boks suddenly people feel as if he is not experienced enough,” added Mbambo.
It seems every sport has its own internal matters that shape the progress and future for the whole team. Whether it’s good or bad, in the end it’s all rested down on the coaches head.