Soccer heroes of '96 now shout the odds from touchlines

03 May 2015 - 02:00 By TSHEPANG MAILWANE
67 CAPS: Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Andre Arendse during a practice session in Mecclesfield, England. The former Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United keeper made his debut in 1995. He was initially in the 1998 FIFA World Cup squad, but had to pull out due to injury. He was later a participant at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and retired from his international career in 2004.
67 CAPS: Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Andre Arendse during a practice session in Mecclesfield, England. The former Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United keeper made his debut in 1995. He was initially in the 1998 FIFA World Cup squad, but had to pull out due to injury. He was later a participant at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and retired from his international career in 2004.

They are arguably the most celebrated group of players in South Africa, but the heroes of 1996 have not quite established themselves as top coaches in the country.

Shaun Bartlett, who is on the verge of winning promotion to the Premier Soccer League with National First Division side Golden Arrows, feels the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) winning squad should have a bigger impact as coaches in local football - be it at junior or senior level.

Here's how the group of 1996 are doing or have done as coaches in local football.

Andre Arendse:He is part of Gavin Hunt's technical team at Bidvest Wits as goalkeeper coach, working with experienced goalkeepers Moeneeb Josephs and Rowen Fernandez.

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Neil Tovey: After retiring in 1999, "Mokoko" joined Mamelodi Sundowns as an assistant to Serbian mentor Paul Dolezar.

Tovey, 52, the man who wore the captain's armband during Afcon on home soil, went on to work at AmaZulu and Hellenic before returning to Sundowns in 2005 to work as co-coach with former Argentinian player Miguel Angel Gamondi.

The two led the Brazilians to the 2005/2006 league title, but they were kicked out the following season. Tovey reached the Nedbank Cup final with AmaZulu in 2010 only to lose to Bidvest Wits. He also worked at Mpumalanga Black Aces and Thanda Royal Zulu.

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Roger de Sa: A back-up goalkeeper during Afcon, De Sa started as a coach at Wits in 2001. They finished third in the 2002/2003 campaign and he won the coach of the season award. He had a strong squad with the likes of Benson Mhlongo, Gert Schalkwyk, Alois Bunjira and Wayne Roberts, but in 2005 Wits got relegated and lost out to SuperSport United in the Absa Cup final.

De Sa left to join Santos and spent two years there before returning to Wits. He led the Clever Boys to the 2010 Nedbank Cup final triumph.

The 50-year-old joined Orlando Pirates and reached four cup finals, including the CAF Champions League in 2013, but didn't win any of them.

Now at Ajax Cape Town, De Sa is hoping to win his second trophy as a coach when the Urban Warriors take on Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final on May 16.

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Doctor Khumalo:"16v" has spent the better part of his coaching career in the Amakhosi development or as first-team assistant. Twice he has been called upon to take on the role of caretaker with Donald "Ace" Khuse. He's won two league titles with current Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter. Khumalo, 47, was the national under-17 coach in 2007, but did not make a mark.

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Eric Tinkler:Tinkler is currently enjoying a good run as caretaker coach of Orlando Pirates, the position he has been occupying since Vladimir Vermezovic left the Buccaneers in December. Pirates are second in the league and have done well in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Like Khumalo, the 44-year-old has been an assistant coach for most of his career. As an assistant, Tinkler has won two Nedbank Cup titles, one each with Bidvest Wits and Pirates.

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Augustine Makalakalane: Not a regular at Bafana, "Mthakathi" worked as Banyana Banyana coach from 2006 to 2011. He failed to qualify the team for the World Cup and was fired. The 49-year-old was suspended before his dismissal for allegedly sexually harassing his players.

David Nyathi :The former left back is a junior coach at Ajax Cape Town. "Going Up" was an assistant coach when the Urban Warriors won the Metropolitan Under-19 Premier Cup last year.

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