The Bafana Bafana manager says he is not relaxing during this period of football inactivity
South Africa coach Molefi Ntseki says he is taking advantage of the current lockdown to plot against the national team’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Since hosting Sudan in an Afcon qualifier last November, it is now six months of inactivity for Bafana Bafana who were due to face Sao Tome e Principe in March before Caf suspended the matches due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ghana complete Bafana’s group in their quest for a ticket to the 2021 Afcon tournament to be hosted by Cameroon.
In the World Cup qualifiers, South Africa have the Black Stars again, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to worry about in Group G and Ntseki says he is leaving nothing to chance in studying their opponents as well as tapping football knowledge from other coaches.
“There’s been a lot of work done behind the scenes,” Ntseki told Sport24.
“I’ve been doing a lot of reading, but the most important thing I’ve been doing regarding work is to consult and have football conversations with other coaches.
“In the past days and weeks, I’ve had Zoom conversations with coaches like [Kaizer Chiefs head coach] Ernst Middendorp on football and also with [Golden Arrows head coach] Steve Komphela about the game and life in general during lockdown.
“I’ve also been in touch with players both locally and overseas. I’ve been talking to the Bafana team manager constantly because there’s always something to do with regards the management of Bafana Bafana.
“I’ve also been in contact with health officials regarding the restart of football that we’re seeing in other parts of the world. Such as what are the health risks and what is the best approach to restart football.
“The technical team of Bafana and all coaches have been in contact because it is important for us to have those football conversations. So that we can keep ourselves up to date on developments in the game currently.
“The most important part of my conversations have been with my analysts as we have been working tirelessly on getting information on international and local football. We are analysing individual players and also our Afcon and World Cup opponents. This is of course very critical as we need to qualify for both tournaments.
“So this has offered us an opportunity to go deeper into our analysis on our opponents. For instance, if it’s a West African country, what are the qualities of West African countries and their players.
“Also East African countries like our [World Cup] opponents Ethiopia and what are the specific strengths of these teams and what do you expect from them in terms of playing style.
Article continues below
“Then you also have Sudan who are based in the Northern part of Africa. So this has offered us an opportunity to go deeper in detail and even to analyse ourselves to see where we are. So whenever we do resume we will be able to know what kind of players we need and the mentality that we want to bring to the team.”
Ntseki has so far been in charge of three Bafana matches, winning 2-1 over Mali in a Nelson Mandela Challenge, before South Africa lost 2-0 away in Ghana in an Afcon qualifier.
Bafana recorded their first competitive match win under Ntseki when they beat Sudan 1-0.
Credit: Source link