SAFA’s new Technical Director plans to mend relations with the PSL

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The newly appointed South African Football Association (SAFA) Technical Director, Walter Steenbok, has big plans for SA football. Steenbok’s plans are to mend the relations between SAFA and the PSL, improve both the men’s and women’s football national teams and re-introduce school football.

Steenbok, who is former Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns scout fills the position after SAFA was without a permanent Technical Director since Neil Tovey’s contract was not renewed in 2020. Frans Mogashoa was the acting Technical Director ever since.

Walter Steenbok says the relationship between SAFA and the PSL is strained and that is one of the first tasks he wants to attend to.

” It’s very important that the relationship between the national coach and professional coaches is really in a good state so I will really encourage. So I will really take it upon myself as one of the things that I need to fix so that I can find out what are the challenges on that side and also what are the challenges this side so that we can have a better South Africa.”

The Technical Director’s role is crucial since it sets the coaching agenda for all the SAFA national teams including the women’s and junior squads.

Steenbok has also coached a now-defunct Benoni Premier United and Basotho Tigers in the National First Division. He’s coming in after the sudden departure of Bafana Bafana assistant coach Cedomir Janevski, who has joined a club in Cyprus.

“It’s always a sad moment when we have to lose one of the best. I always feel that the association has developed many coaches and this is the area where we have to point out and say I think from 2003 SAFA has developed a lot of qualified coaches but sometimes we don’t take pride in what we have done so we should be able to replace anybody.”

He says women’s football is improving in leaps and bounds with the formation of the SAFA Women’s league and Banyana Banyana winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in July, however, much work still needs to be done.

“One of the short-term goals for the Technical Director is to support Banyana Banyana, they will be going to the World Cup but you have seen what has happened against Brazil so it means there is a lot of work to be done. Also when you back to FIFA increasing the global competitive research, it highlights the importance of road shows in terms of women’s football and also how we have to increase the level of women’s football.”

The 49-year-old is also planning to organise longer camps and quality oppositions for all the national teams.
“You know more camps better opposition longer camps and try to find space within the PSL calendar to afford the national teams more space for the U23 Olympic team, the Chan team and under 17.”

Steenbok says he is also planning to re-introduce school football.

“That’s the space where you can have your legends and also your junior coaches who can play a critical space we can create a pathway for that and also opportunities so we need to re-introduce school football for Wednesday’s players and kids are at school.”