The South African Football Coaches Association (SAFCA) is confronted by the wide-spreading and growing concern of local coaches, players, parents and football followers regarding foreign influence and control over several South African youth development academies, professional clubs and a multitude of commercialized coaching courses and clinics.
Since the National Coaching Symposium – 15 August 2014 – when over 200 delegates mandated SAFCA to promptly address this serious issue; more complains have been voiced through the media at various regional workshops and meetings.
Despite continuous and vigorous efforts made by the SAFCA Technical Advisory Board to promote those fundamental principles that demand the nation’s coaching syllabus and training methodology to unconditionally respect players’ attributes and the context of cultural and environmental factors, the leaning of SA football towards alien coaching influences coming from contrasting foreign football cultures have been on the increase.; resulting in vast amount of talent and high performance potential being lost.
South Afican coaches pride themselves with highly successful experiences derived from world first youth projects such as the Chibuku Youth Centre, Sport School of Excellence, PUK Tawana experiment, etc., that were appreciated by FIFA. This few examples reinforce SAFCA’s capability to provide solutions at a higher level.
(1) SAFCA Leadership and its entire membership have the right to challenge any foreign coaching project, initiative and irrelevant source of information that undermines our players’ natural attributes and skills competency.
(2) SAFCA has researched and developed a South African specific coaching curriculum/syllabus in line with the latest scientific and methodological findings that can significantly enhance the current content of the SAFA Coach Education
As there is an abundance of football science information and useful examples, the ever important task of defining and implementing a South African genuine and unique playing philosophy and corresponding training methodology is now entirely possible and expressly essential.
It is on this objective and revealing background that the South African Football Coaches Association firmly demands that the technical/coaching of irrelevant/contrasting foreign origin which currently controls or influences youth development programmes/projects be immediately replaced by indigenous youth expertise and coaches. Some of the ever most advanced solutions in developing young talent have originated in South Africa and continue to lead in the coaching methodology providing the best possible answers to the uniqueness of local talent.
Of major concern is the mentality and policy of certain professional clubs that continue to employ foreign coaches with low technical competency who lack the understanding and approach in recognizing and maximizing SA players’ natural and/or developed attributes/strengths. New regulations to address the standards and conditions of employment of foreign coaches in SA clubs have to be considered and enforced.
SAFCA fully supports the initiative by SASCOC which has since produced the South African Coaching Framework meant to enhance the local talent performance through adherence to coaching philosophies that are sensitive to Identity AND Mindset of South Africans as a basic prerequisite. Anyone who thinks we can just import divergent and unpalatable approaches and then hope to conquer the world will have to rethink their oversimplification and lackadaisical view of modern competitive sports.
South Africa must remain South Africa where our identity as a nation finds true expression in the way we do our sport. We cannot be a colonised football nation by anyone in the World. The decisions we make today must be guided by SAFCA’s appreciation of its membership stance which says; “We do not inherit the game from our forefathers, we borrow it from our children”.
It follows therefore as an irresistible consequence that our Nation yearns for self-expression, a voice among the Nations of the World, without having to endure our past experiences. Our people’s ideas must find space to grow and develop to levels where Africa’s voice is fully respected and embraced as relevant in the information production discourse the world is engaged in. Our indigenous knowledge systems must be integrated and prove to compete at any level, and not just render Africans mere consumers as opposed to producers of information. It is this space that our people must understand why SAFCA jealously guard, because failure cannot be an option if we are to truly celebrate our Freedom.