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Ntseki on the red carpet

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Ntseki is South African, so he will definitely get paid in our madibas. Most importantly he is young and is a product of the local football academies

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South Africa’s newly-appointed national football mentor Molefi Ntseki got the best ever introduction of any coach to top-flight football at the weekend in Port Elizabeth when his squad trotted out against Mali and collected the trophy on offer for their trouble.

Now that, in my book, is a one in a million occurrence.

If you come to think of it. It nearly did not come together that nicely for this ninety-seventh coach (who is counting?) of the SA Football Association.

In the time between his very first appointment to meet Zambia, in a friendly match that was unfortunately scuppered by the insane outburst of what came to be classed as xenophobic attacks, Molefi had ample time to take in the size, intensity and enormity of his appointment. So he can rightly claim that the squad selection was his own.

With Ntseki’s appointment Safa, in what could probably be described as an offhand move, went searching for a suitable candidate in their training academies for the right fit of a coach. Here is what is good about their choice.

Ntseki is South African, so he will definitely get paid in our madibas. Most importantly he is young and is a product of the local football academies.

That is about the right coming together of ideal factors for a national coach if our brand of football ever has a chance to find real expression in the annals of football. Recording a win against foreign competition does a lot of good both for Ntseki and ourselves who are hell-bent on seeing a South African team win on the pitch regardless of the competition.

The win immediately silences the doubters among us who do not know Ntseki from a bar of soap. It also will go a long way in boosting his own confidence. On that score alone we can banish the notion that this was a beginner’s luck thing.

Maybe it is also about time that Safa changed the job criterion for national coaches.

I do not know what precisely ought to be changed but surely the type of job description put down some 25 years ago cannot still be valid today. Happily this time around with Ntseki we did not hear the familiar remarks about working towards this or that cup competition for a specified period.

Winning, by all means, is OK on any day. But our job spec for the coaching job seems not to work at the best of times. That could partly account for the string of coaches we have had over the 225-year period. None of them have gone the distance of say five years.

Not long enough if one considers that coaching stints of the likes of former Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson went four times that distance, if not more.

Regarding that international friendly in Port Elizabeth, one must put in a good word for the good people of eBhayi who came out in their numbers to support SA against Mali. They, true to the form of a football starved establishment, came out in great numbers.

eBhayi and such places are the kind of towns where our national team should be seen on a regular basis. After all, this is a national team so by right it belongs to every town, kasi and khaya in our land. This thing of keeping a national team in Gauteng province in perpetuity, ostensibly because television and whatnot is based over there is pure cow dung!

In parting. The Premier Soccer League log is unchanged still for the eighth week running. You are hereby cautioned not to expect a change of guard anytime soon. Salang!