SA football has reached crisis point - ex-striker

Ex-top marksman concerned about the lack of quality strikers

29 November 2017 - 07:35 By MAHLATSE MPHAHLELE
Daniel Mudau.
Daniel Mudau.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

South African football is in trouble, says former Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana striker Daniel "Mambush" Mudau.

The local game is in the throes of an unprecedented goals drought. This was clearly illustrated last week when 12 out of 15 matches ended in draws and six of those failed to produce a single goal.

Mudau, the Premier Soccer League's second-leading goal scorer with 108 goals, said the league did not have enough out-and-out No9s in the mould of former club teammate and Nigerian international Raphael Chukwu.

The league's leading marksman is AmaZulu forward Siyabonga Nomvethe with 120 strikes.

Mudau said as a result of a lack of good target men, coaches are forced to convert midfield players into strikers with little success.

"I think we have reached a crisis point and I am not sure how or when the situation is going to change," said the 49-year-old.

"My observation is that we don't have quality out-and-out strikers like Raphael Chukwu, Jerry Sikhosana, Shaun Bartlett or Pollen Ndlanya, who used to stay in the box.

"Now, you have a situation where coaches are forced to convert midfielders into strikers."

Mudau, who was part of the Bafana squad that won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil, sees nothing wrong with converting midfield players into strikers but said such individualsmust embrace their new roles and work harder to get better at finishing.

"I don't know if there are players who still stay behind after training with 50 balls to practise target shooting, taking runs on and off the ball and jumping and heading inside the box," he said. "I don't think there are that many."

Erstwhile striker Mark Williams, scorer of two goals when Bafana beat Tunisia in the 1996 Afcon final, said coaches must use former players to help solve this problem.

"At every club there is always a goalkeeper coach and they're always former goalkeepers," he said. "Why can't clubs do the same with strikers because clearly we have a problem?"

Williams, 51, is planning to launch a strikers' academy in 2019. "A lot of things are said about football being a team sport but when you are a striker your job is to score goals. A goalkeeper must do his job, defenders must do their job, midfielders must do their job."