Bafana has a new coach! Ok not really… its just a previous coach who has returned to the job.
As of last Friday Carlos Alberto Parreira has been reinstated as the national football team’s coach. This decision was obviously met with mixed emotions amongst South Africans after Parreira was viewed by some as abandoning our national footballers in their time of need. I think the guy deserves a little bit of a break. After being in a marriage for 36years (he deserves a medal for that alone) he left the Bafana Bafana coaching job a little bit more than 18 months ago to be with his ill wife after she had to have both breasts removed and had reconstructive surgery- I commend the guy for his commitment, even if it wasnt to Bafana at the time.
Parreira will take Bafana on a month-long training camp at the Brazilian national team’s state of the art headquarters in January (maybe they can pick up a thing or two from rubbing shoulders with Ronaldinho or Kaka), with another camp in Germany to follow just before the world cup takes place in South Africa next year. I think that it wouldnt be a bad idea to take all of the local lads and some of their internationally based teamates (if they could actually be bothered to show up, BENNI MCARTHY) out of the club set up for the period running up to the world soccer showcase as a means of forcing them to grow as a team and unite in the task of doing the host nation of the first African world cup proud.
Bafana did not qualify for the African Cup of Nations and are currently ranked 86th in world football (the worst ever ranking of a host nation in the World Cup). If they are to have any hope of progressing into the second round they will need to arrange a series of matches with both strong and middle of the range opponents who have not qualified for the showpiece to test themselves physically and mentally. Parreira has refused to set Bafana a specific world cup target (smart man) and is instead seeking a performance that the country can be proud of. He had this to say-
“The main focus of any team going to the World Cup is to reach the second round. After that, the sky is the limit as there is everything to play for.”
Carlos Alberto Parreira arrives in SA on the 5th of November and will take charge of the national team for the upcoming games against Japan and Jamaica on November 14 and 17 respectively.
Regardless of any feelings harboured against our not so new national coach, I think that we should all get behind Bafana and blow those vuvuzelas until our ears bleed!! 227 days to go 🙂