Barker wishes Ntseki well, offers advice on Bafana

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Former Bafana Bafana boss Clive Barker has wished new coach Molefi Ntseki all the best ahead of his debut against Mali this weekend, saying he should be backed fully by everyone in South African football.

The 50-year-old will be leading out the national team for the first time since his appointment as successor to Stuart Baxter on August 31.

Veteran Barker, the team’s most successful coach who delivered the Africa Cup of Nations title in 1996, says everyone should get behind Ntseki.

Barker believes that Ntseki faces a big challenge to change the mindset of South Africans, but feels he can do that by allowing the national team to play a more expressive style of football, like they did when they played under him.

Bafana has been on a downward spiral ever since their success in the mid-1990s. They have never replicated what the golden generation of players like Lucas Radebe, Doctor Khumalo and John Shoes Moshoeu managed to do. Barker is hoping things can now change.

Barker believes that the quick fix for Bafana will be miraculously finding legendary players like they did in the past.

Although he was not counting on it, the 75-year-old conceded that having figures like Jomo Sono and Ace Ntsoelengoe would make a world of difference.

Barker did not criticise the current crop of players. He feels there is plenty of potential in the South African squad, but the ex-AmaZulu boss wants to see them coached properly.

He believes too much pressure is placed on players in modern day football, adding that he would rather see players given the freedom to enjoy themselves.

Barker also looked back at what was one of the biggest reasons for Safa’s failure to deliver competitive Bafana Bafana teams post-1996. They have far too regularly sought to employ foreign tactics and foreign coaches and this was a major problem for the veteran former coach. He says that has hurt the culture and style of the South African game.

Bafana begin their latest era under a new coach when Ntseki takes charge against the Eagles of Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Report by Thahir Asmal