Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has revealed that he has plans to bring former Defender Mark Fish in as an assistant.
Fish would not be tasked with coaching duties but would fulfill a player support/scouting role for the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt.
SA Under-17 coach Molefi Ntseki will act as Bafana Bafana’ assistant coach and will take an active role in coaching while Fish will be used to liaise with players and scout opposition.
Baxter said that he had tapped up former Bafana star Quinton Fortune for the role but he was unavailable.
“We’re talking about the actual coaching‚ and with the loading‚ we [Baxter and Ntseki] can manage that‚” Baxter told a press conference on Thursday.
“The more important part was to get somebody who could partly be with the squad – let’s call it player support.
“Someone who could get around the players and ask them‚ ‘How are you feeling‚ is the food OK‚ how’s the family?’
“That sort of thing‚ and then‚ also be a scout.
“Quinton would have been OK. Quinton can’t do it.
“We’re contemplating someone like Mark Fish‚ for example‚ who’s very well known.
“So‚ after Afcon‚ if he was to get on a plan and visit one of our young players they’d know Mark Fish.
“I’ve spoken to Mark. He’s considering his availability‚ and we’ll take it from there.”
When quizzed on Fish’s lack of any coaching credentials, Baxter moved to clarify what he would require of the 1996 AFCON winner. The coach said that he wanted someone to gather information from opponents that couldn’t be gleaned from video. The coach also detailed his reluctance to send a fully fledged coach on a scouting trip, which would be seen as a slight by most in the player training profession.
“No‚ Mark’s not a coach. He’s a very experienced football person. And he can understand what I’m looking for‚” the coach replied.
“When I send someone to monitor a team for me they’re only looking at maybe four or five things. I don’t want to know how the left-back laces his boots.
“What we need to know is how do they attack on transition? How do they attack when we are compact and they have got to break us down?
“How do they defend when we are on transition? How do they defend when we have the ball with our goalkeeper and they have their team organised.
“That’s all I need to know. The set plays we can analyse on DVD.
“Now‚ I think Mark is more than capable. I think having a coach for that‚ they would be over-qualified.
“If I take the best scout – say for Barcelona – I’m guessing he couldn’t coach Barcelona.
“And the other thing is‚ I don’t have to got to a coach and say‚ ‘Will you go scout for me?’
“I would find that a little bit embarrassing‚ to be honest. And the coach would go‚ ‘Let me see‚ go stuff yourself’.
“If I went to [Orlando Pirates assistant] Rulani Mokwena‚ and asked him to scout‚ I’m sure he’d feel‚ ‘I’ve done enough to warrant not needing to go and scout for you mate’.
“I think Mark‚ if he knows what we want‚ can do it. At the some time I think there’d be a bit of friction if we went to an overqualified person and asked them to do it.”
Bafana begin their 2019 AFCON campaign against Ivory Coast in Cairo on 24 June, also in their group are Morocco and Namibia.