/ 5 April 2012

Komphela named new Bafana assistant coach

The South African Football Association’s (Safa) worst kept secret was revealed when Steve Komphela was officially named as Bafana Bafana’s second assistant coach on Thursday morning.

Komphela, who coaches Free State Stars, has been contracted on a part-time basis until the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“It was long discussed and agreed with the coach [Pitso Mosimane] needed a second assistant to work alongside,” said Safa chief executive Robin Peterson at the announcement on Tuesday.

“We are very pleased with having Steve as part of the technical team.

“We also would like to thank Stars for the sacrifice, knowing fully well the Fifa dates and the camps that we will be in.”

It has long been speculated that Komphela, Bafana’s first captain after re-admission in 1992, would link up with Mosimane.

He was set to be unveiled last week before Safa cancelled the briefing because it had been “leaked” to the media.

Komphela is no stranger to the national set-up, and worked as Stuart Baxter’s right-hand man in 2004.

“There are two things to do, it is to accept and declare,” said Komphela.

“This is my third time being part of the national team and the invite is humbling.

“If it takes moving in the muddy areas in the interest of my country, then I accept.”

Komphela had been recommended by Mosimane, who will work alongside the first assistant coach Jaero Leal.

Mosimane had asked Komphela — his former Bafana team-mate — as far back as 2009 to fill the void but the latter’s club commitments forced the delay.

“Steve has always been my preferred choice, he knows me and I know him,” Mosimane said.

“It could have been earlier but I understand that there were logistics [that hampered the proposal].

“In fact, he held a meeting with Leslie Sedibe [then Safa chief executive] some time back but was in between clubs, moving from Platinum Stars to Free State Stars.”

Komphela said he was eager to help Mosimane as Bafana aims to improve on their recent poor results.

“I am prepared and willing to help Pitso and we will see how far we can go,” Komphela said.

“I am more like a copy of him, in fact, in terms of confidence.”

The mandate for both men is to ensure positive results towards the Brazil 2014 World Cup, with qualifiers first against Ethiopia and Botswana in May and June.

With South Africa hosting next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, Bafana also has impress at home.

“Our goal, as we said in the recently held technical symposium, is to consistently be in the top three on the continent,” said Peterson.

“It is important that we do well in the World Cup qualifiers, and another critical event for us as the association is the Afcon, which we will be hosting.

“The team has to perform well. This is important because the country expects this.”

Meanwhile, Simon Ngomane was named the new South African under-17 coach, with Safa making steps towards improving development.

He will work alongside Khabo Zondo, who has been moved to the school of excellence. — Sapa