Molefi Ntseki declares he is ‘ready for full-time Bafana Bafana job’

23 August 2019 - 14:07 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Molefi Ntseki believes he is ready and well equipped to take over Bafana Bafana on a full time basis.
Molefi Ntseki believes he is ready and well equipped to take over Bafana Bafana on a full time basis.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana interim coach Molefi Ntseki has raised his hand and made himself available for the senior national team’s hot seat on a permanent basis.

Ntseki is in charge of the team while the SA Football Association’s (Safa) technical committee search for Stuart Baxter’s replacement‚ and he says he is ready to lead the maligned Bafana into the future.

Speaking at Safa House on Friday where he announced the 23-man squad for the friendly match against Zambia on September 7 in Lusaka‚ Ntseki said he wants to be considered when the final decision is made.

“Now that I am seated here [as interim coach]‚ my hand is also up‚” said the U-17 coach who has also worked with the U-20s and U-23s.

“The decision that was made by the association to have me as interim coach was based on the experience and understanding of the dynamics of national teams.

Molefi Ntseki was second in command behind Stuart Baxter at the Africa Cup of Nations and would have learnt a great deal from the Briton.
Molefi Ntseki was second in command behind Stuart Baxter at the Africa Cup of Nations and would have learnt a great deal from the Briton.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

“I have been around for some time now but the process of appointing the new coach is done through the committee that is looking for someone who will be taking over as Bafana Bafana coach.

“When I came as an U-17 head coach I was on trial. I think through working as assistant-coach to Shakes Mashaba‚ Owen Da Gama and Stuart Baxter‚ I have completed my internship.

“You learn and grow every day and the last Afcon [2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in June and July] was my best.

“I have been to U-17‚ U-20 and U-23 Afcon tournaments and now I have been to the senior one. All the experience and knowledge I have acquired worked in my favour.

“If you look at Bafana coaches‚ Stuart was the U-21 coach for England‚ Shakes was the U-20 and U-23 coach for SA‚ and they both progressed to senior level.

Stuart Baxter resigned as Bafana coach after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Stuart Baxter resigned as Bafana coach after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

“I have followed the same route in terms of getting to this level but Bafana is a short blanket‚ because there will always be pressure whether you do well or not.”

Ntseki‚ who will be in charge of Bafana against Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium‚ added that he will finalise his technical team next week and the match in Lusaka will be an audition.

“There was a question earlier to say this is a trial‚ and yes it’s true. If we win matches then you are going to make it difficult to be kicked out‚” he said.

“So the people who will be coming in to help must understand that and you need to make an informed decision in terms of who will be coming on board.

“As much as the technical committee took the whole day to give me this responsibility‚ I have to apply myself as to who is the right person to help and he or she must have the right qualifications.

Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns has been selected by Molefi Ntseki in his first squad announcement as Bafana Bafana interim coach.
Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns has been selected by Molefi Ntseki in his first squad announcement as Bafana Bafana interim coach.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

“We are still in the process of talking to people who will be coming in‚ and we are also looking to have some kind of a mentor because we need a voice of reason.

“Somebody who will come in‚ and not be in a pressure zone [but rather in the background]‚ to say maybe this is the best way of looking at this matter.

“To present a profile of every player that we want to bring in‚ we need somebody of experience who has been in the game for long.”

Bafana exited in the quarterfinals at Egypt 2019.


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