Former Bafana coach Stuart Baxter finds a job in India

19 June 2020 - 18:39 By Marc Strydom
Former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter. FILE PHOTO
Former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter. FILE PHOTO
Image: Gallo Images

Former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has joined Indian Super League (ISL) team Odisha FC on a two-year deal.

This will be the well-travelled Baxter’s first foray into Indian football‚ but not the game in Asia‚ as he also coached Vissel Kobe for two stints in Japan.

Baxter had been out of a job since quitting his second stint as national coach of South Africa on August 2 last year‚ weeks after Bafana reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Indian club tweeted: “Odisha FC is delighted to announce that Mr. Stuart Baxter has been appointed as the new Head Coach on a two year deal ahead of the seventh edition of the Indian Super League.”

Baxter told the Times of India: “The vision for the club is an exciting one with development‚ teamwork and cooperation with our stakeholders serving as cornerstones for the task ahead.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of Indian football and the opportunity to develop players and coaches in India.”

Odisha founder and CEO Anil Sharma told the newspaper: “We conducted an extensive global search for a coach who matched our vision of the next phase of OFC.

“We are excited that Stuart is motivated and experienced to create a championship club‚ develop our Indian starlets into national team players and strengthen our youth academy‚ in order to have a consistent flow of talent into the Odisha FC squad.”

Odisha finished sixth in the sixth season of the relatively new‚ 10-team ISL in the 2019-20 campaign. It was OFC’s first Super League campaign‚ after being rebranded from the Delhi Dynamos‚ shifting from capital New Delhi to Bhubaneswar‚ population 900‚000‚ the capital of the state of Odisha in eastern India.

Baxter has won league titles in Scandinavia with AIK in Sweden in 1998‚ and as part of two doubles in three years with Kaizer Chiefs in the 2012-13 and 2014-15 Absa Premiership seasons.