Mzwakhe Ngwenya
2 minute read
4 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Bafana in a good space – Igesund

Mzwakhe Ngwenya

Gordon Igesund believes he has laid a good foundation for the next Bafana Bafana coach.

FILE PICTURE: Gordon Igesund during the South African national soccer team training session. Picture: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images.

On Monday, Igesund was told that his contract with the SA Football Association (Safa) would not be renewed when it expires at the end of August. He has spent two years at the helm.

While Safa president Danny Jordaan said they would cast the net wide in the search for a new coach, the two frontrunners are believed to be Carlos Queiroz and Stephen Keshi.

Queiroz, a former Bafana coach, and Keshi are off to Brazil this month for the World Cup with Iran and Nigeria respectively.

The two men have been closely linked to the Bafana job since speculation began that Igesund was on his way out.

“I believe this team can do wonderful things with the vast talent I have seen,” he said.

“I believe I hand over a national team that is far better than the one I inherited,” added Igesund, a four-time Premier Soccer League championship-winning coach.

The 57-year-old took over from Pitso Mosimane as the national team coach in 2012 and was tasked with ensuring Bafana qualified for the World Cup and reached last year’s Africa Cup of Nations semifinals.

He did not achieve either mandate.

But Igesund said he was proud to have seen the national team beat world champions Spain late last year and also being able to unearth talented players of the calibre of May Mahlangu, Dean Furman and Ayanda Patosi.

“There have also been a number of friendlies for me to test ourselves, and the victory over current world champions Spain will be a night I will never forget and South Africa should never forget,” he said.

Of the official matches he was in charge of, Igesund won seven, lost twice and drew five.

Overall, in the 32 matches he was in charge of the national team, Bafana won 14 matches, drew nine and lost nine.