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Baxter keeps coach list quiet

13 July 2017 - 07:31 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Coach Stuart Baxter.
Coach Stuart Baxter.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Stuart Baxter now appears certain to finalise the appointment of his Bafana Bafana technical team after the African Nations Championship qualifiers this weekend.

The Briton was assisted by Amajita mentor Thabo Senong and goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia in the recent Cosafa Cup, where Bafana won the plate final after beating Namibia 1-0. The duo will continue in their roles when the national team play Botswana over two legs on Saturday.

Speaking as Bafana were preparing for the away trip to face the Zebras in Francistown, Baxter said he had not had time to discuss the matter with his employers at Safa House.

"Since I came to the national team I probably have had four days at Safa House," the national team coach said.

"I have been on camp and travelling, on camp and travelling, and I am still on camp.

"So, it's difficult because there are lots of things that we had on the agenda and we have not been able to put to bed because I have just never had time.

"I have made a couple of recommendations; we have spoken but we have not been able to put things to bed," he said.

"We just have not had time and with these things you need to sit down and have a meeting."

SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan said a few days ago that Baxter had been given time to mull over his decision and was expected to finalise the issue after the Cosafa Cup and upcoming Chan qualifiers.

"We have asked Stuart to go through the Cosafa Cup and the Chan tournament and then make up his mind," Jordaan said.

"If he can give us his final list before Chan that will be well and good, and if he is going to do it after Chan we will have to wait on him.

"He is making his own assessment and he will make the recommendation.

"We said that we want to see opportunities for local coaches in the technical team, and in particular the one that we think has the potential to become a Bafana Bafana coach in the future," Jordaan said.

Although he did not commit himself to an exact date, Baxter said he was likely to make the decision immediately after the Botswana qualifiers.

"I guess it will be after this camp," Baxter said.

"It has been a hectic period and it is going to be the same all the way to the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde next month.

"Virtually, I have not had a day free from squad selection, squad training and travelling to games since I took over.

"Even if the president were to come to the camp, I don't know where I will be able to squeeze him in because we are working all the time. I am saying that with due respect to him.

"I don't think realistically we can do this properly because negotiations need to take place. There are options to be weighed in properly.

"To give you an idea of how our day looks like I start with my training in the morning, then breakfast, staff meeting to prepare for training, medical meeting to make sure there are no injuries, go to training, back to have lunch, training in the afternoon, dinner, squad meeting, another staff meeting and I go to bed at around 10pm," concluded Baxter.