For decades inadequate football development structures have been blamed for the poor showing by the South African national football teams on the international stage.
At the heart of the poor development has always been the non-existent of school football resulting in poor talent identification by those who run football in the country, misguided coach education which has failed to produce quality coaches who could maximise the potential of local talent, as well as the absence of a national playing philosophy to ensure that what happens at the development stage is built on through the structures until professional level.
However, that may be a thing of the past if what the South African Football Association CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe, is saying is anything to go by.
Speaking to SABC Digital News Senior Producer, Sipho Kekana, on schools football, Motlanthe says, “There are plans to say let’s go back to schools and let’s ensure that we have a league. Because when we took over from those that we had given rights to run it previously, it was, one, they were not including women; two, it was not a league. It was a tournament. People were just coming in and out. It was competitions and the majority of schools were not involved. I am from a township and I was very much motivated when people came and told me that schools are now playing. You know, that situation where school A would play with school B locally … that is happening. So, it’s just for SAFA to get into that space to say we have Kay Motsepe and that league will promote to the Super League. The Super League will be established with two schools per province. Former Model C schools and the current winners of Kay Motsepe will form that 18-team league and it will relegate and promote. That’s what we want to see. And then we will also have the women’s edition of schools (football). So, it’s something which we are working on and we think we are on the right track.”
Motlanthe also says SAFA who will be working with the South African Coaches’ Association to improve the coach education in the country, also targeting educators who will be trained to develop the sport at different schools.
“Our coaching department has also targeted educators, different people from different spheres to say this is where we want to go as a country,” says Motlanthe.
Full interview below: