This topic is not new to SAFCA; it was one of the discussion points presented at the SAFCA Technical Symposium attended by over 200 coaches at the Rand Stadium on 15 September 2015.
The SAFCA Technical Advisory Board’s (TAB) reportage on this matter is in a bid to clarify the misunderstanding on this issue of national importance.
“The work on the policy is done collectively with the involvement of the Technical Committee, Technical Director, national coaches and experts on related support systems like medical, nutrition, physiology, psychology etc.
The task is of highest responsibility and not easy to complete. In defining the policy of national teams there are key factors to be considered.
· Performance Objectives: immediate, mid –term and long – term (Vision), all objectives must be interrelated as per the principle of continuity.
· Accurate Assessment: The current assessment of potential and resources of the national team, development stage, re-building stage or high performance building stage with a realistic view on the potential of available talent, and the quality of players with the youth national teams and the resources available to implement the programs.
· Implementation of the Playing Philosophy: refine the philosophy and add new playing features. Only the ignorant would still believe that South Africa can succeed at the level of the World Cup technical requirements without a specific and well established style of play.
· International Trends: Superior ball skill and technique supported by complete range of movement; dominant individuality and unreserved creativity, fluent and effective dynamics.
· Selection of players: It is regulated by the following - Performance Objectives (Immediate to long term) ; Team Development Stage ( Rebuilding or High Performance Ready); Playing Philosophy (A Specific Competitive National Style of Play); Global Competitive Trends; Variables ( Players’ Form, Injuries etc)
Following the approval of the policy and its time frame by all those involved, it is Only the National Coach who is Responsible for the selection of players and full implementation of the preparation plan.
If the policy was Competently, Objectively and Honestly constructed, then the foundation for players’ selection, type of national football style and performance would be solid and lasting.
SAFCA is of the view that the current debates on the selection of players are because the set up and process explained in this media statement is not reflected in the criteria. For example, to build a team that has the mandate of qualifying to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup; then the immediate performance objective (AFCON) has to be linked with Vision 2022. This is imperative and non-debatable.
The time factor in developing the players and the type of successful football for 2022 has a decisive significance. No genuine football technician will would ignore the fact that the process of building performance standards for a national team to qualify for the semi-finals at the World Cup will take 8-10 years without exception.
The priority between immediate targets and Vision 2020 is decided by what objective is more important to South Africa. Obviously there should be recognition, support and actions that the current Bafana Bafana begins step by step the 2022 mission. The implementation of its playing philosophy (already a bit late) and a certain percentage of the squad (young players of 18-19 years) should be gradually introduced and prepared for the immense 2022 challenge.
Global experience shows no other option.