Molefi Ntseki has operated in the shadows for most of his career, but has now been thrust into the spotlight by taking on the role of Bafana head coach.

The former school teacher has been in charge of the SA Under-17s, and has worked closely with his most recent predecessors, serving as senior national team’s assistant coach.

However, the reaction following his appointment hasn’t been all too positive, as he is a relative unknown compared to some of the names that were bandied about, following Stuart Baxter’s resignation.

Safa’s impassioned plea

However, the South African Football Association (Safa) has defended its decision to promote Ntseki into the hot seat.

The association patted itself on the back for taking a leap of faith by giving the top job to a local coach.

Although many of our own South Africans have been very negative regarding the appointment of Molefi Ntseki, we cannot as a nation that forgets that he was responsible for taking our national u-17 to its very first FIFA World Cup in the history of our nation. A man who then went to be an assistant coach for the u-20, u-23 as well as for Bafana Bafana under coach Shakes Mashaba and recently under Stuart Baxter.

South African Football Association

Working his way to the top

Ntseki has been involved in the national setup through most of his career.

Having arrived as the national Under-17 head coach, he has had a hand in the success of other youth teams, working as assistant coach in the Under-20 and Under-20 sides.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic youth coach was roped into the senior national team as assistant to Shakes Mashaba, and was around when Owen da Gama took over on an interim basis before Baxter’s permanent appointment.

Safa commended him for working his way to the highest level.

This is a perfect example of someone who started of as a student, gets an internship, then gets given a junior position and later on working his way to the top position.

So we as South Africans need to support Molefe, the entire continent needs to see his appointment as a win for local football and for African coaches who many never get given the task of coaching national teams.

South frican Football Association

Bafana’s next confirmed fixture is the Afcon qualifier away to Ghana on 11 November, which is followed by a home game against Sudan.

For the full story click here