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Back You are here: Home Sports Soccer Kwa Zulu Natal School Soccer To Be Revolutionised?
Friday, 25 June 2010 11:55

School Soccer To Be Revolutionised?


THE South African Football Association (Safa) is to announce plans to "revolutionise" school-level soccer development before the end of the World Cup, Safa vice-president Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko said yesterday.
SA became the first host country in the 80-year history of the World Cup to be knocked out in the preliminary stage on Tuesday, when the national team won 2-1 against France, but failed to go through to the next rounds, prompting public debate about the level of development.

"We have all learned (from SA's first World Cup experience) and there is no turning back now ... You can have the best coach, but you still won't win. You need a proper foundation," said Mr Mazibuko, who is also president of the South African Schools Football Association, which is part of Safa.
Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe, in an interview with Eyewitness News, promised more money and resources for the sport.
Mr Mazibuko said details of the government- and Fifa-sanctioned plans would be announced when the association named a replacement for Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, but no date had yet been set.
Safa did not want to "dilute the transition" from one coach to another, and from one way of handling soccer development to another, and it also wanted to focus on ensuring the last two weeks of the World Cup went off well, he said.
Before the World Cup kicked off on June 11, "grassroots" development programmes had been launched in two provinces, and the new programme would build on that, Mr Mazibuko said.
World Cup local organising committee senior manager Greg Fredericks said SA needed "quality schools programmes on quality surfaces with quality coaches" and the authorities needed to ensure schools either had good quality playing fields, or that there were fields nearby.
The quality of school coaches needed to be improved and children needed the opportunity to play in well-organised leagues.
Former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker said SA lacked leadership, proper planning and hard work to ensure that school-level development worked. "First you need someone who sets up a long-term strategy," he said.
"We are fortunate in that high schools are now allowed to offer soccer as part of their sports. In the old days, it was only rugby."
Soccer officials needed to ensure programmes included the rural areas, that soccer leagues were well-structured and that they were monitored and the best talent was picked out and nurtured, Mr Barker said.
Safa had to take advantage of the enthusiasm for soccer that had been whipped up by the World Cup to improve school-level development.
"I started (coaching) in the townships in the '70s and nobody could have told me then that you could have a full house watching Nigeria play South Korea.
"We did. If we can't build on that then they shouldn't be custodians of sport in this country," he said.
Former Mexico, Nigeria and US coach Bora Milutinovic said the most important ingredient for soccer success was passion, but that proper preparation was also vital.
" You need to take the time (to coach children). You need to have organisation and programmes for the young," he said.