Progression to the knockout stages has eluded most of the country’s national teams recently
QUALIFICATION FOR major tournaments should no longer be the “be all and end all” for South Africa’s national teams.
And to this effect the South African Football Association (Safa) is working on an upgrade of their Vision 2022 programme which aimed to get national teams into the top three rankings in Africa and top 20 in the world.
“Since 2013 we have had the most successful, consistent qualifications.
“But we are not saying qualification is the be all and end all and we now need to move into the next phase and move out of the shadows of the 1996 team and the shadow of dealing with getting out of the group stages and we need to find out how we are going to do that.
“Other teams like Madagascar and Benin have cracked that and some teams are doing it more consistently than we do and we need to work at it too.”
Progression to the knockout stages has eluded most of the country’s national teams recently – with Banyana Banyana and the men’s national under-20 side returning from their World Cups after the round robin phase.
To improve on this the association’s Technical Director Neil Tovey said they will use as much of the country’s technical brains as possible.
“We’ve been talking for a while now that we need to take our teams to the next level. That we have to get into the knockout stages of major competitions.
“So as part of this bigger picture we have put in place a system of having 18 provincial technical officers – two per province – who will work together across all aspects of the game.”
This grassroots structure, he said, will assist with “coaches education, structure of the leagues, elite programmes for players” in order to “add better quality to our national teams”.