Igesund starts training on Monday
Gordon Igesund, one of the remaining candidates along with Steve Komphela vying for the position of Bafana Bafana head coach, revealed on Thursday he will start training for the coming season on Monday.
But it will not be at the helm of Bafana that the coach will be getting back onto the training pitch.
Instead, Igesund will remain in charge of his Moroka Swallows squad when last season’s Premier League runners-up begin preparations for the 2012/13 season after a break of three weeks, following a successful trip to China.
“Steve [Komphela] and I are due to make a further representation to the Safa executive at the end of the month,” explained Igesund.
“We were told the final decision for the Bafana post would be announced shortly afterwards.
“But for the meantime it’s business as usual with Swallows as far as I am concerned. I’ve been in the game too long to jump the gun or take anything for granted.” Igesund recalled how he had been told officially ten years ago that the special committee entrusted with choosing the Bafana coach at the time had nominated him — only for the SA Football Association (Safa) executive to overturn the decision and announce Trott Moloto as the national coach.
“I would be lying if I did not admit that I look at the possibility of coaching Bafana as a great challenge and what anyone in my position would consider a stepping stone,” Igesund said.
“I’ve learnt to accept what life serves up for you.” The Swallows coach said club CEO Leon Prins had told him that it would only be with great reluctance that he would receive the club’s blessing if the Bafana post materialised.
“He [Leon Prins] understands my position,” said Igesund.
“Our close relationship will be unimpaired no matter what will happen.” Igesund said that whether he remained with Swallows or not, the club could look forward to an exciting and profitable future, with the objective to rekindle the successes of the 1980s when The Birds were playing a brand of soccer that excited all soccer fans.
“In this respect, the trip we made to China early in the month not only cemented what could be a close relationship between South African and Chinese soccer, but it knitted together our players into a close unit that benefited greatly from the experience,” he said.
The Birds lost their first game soon after arriving in Shanghai for a four-team round-robin tournament, but then went on to beat the premier club in China, who have acquired the services of big name players Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba and are coached by former Argentinian national coach Julio Batistuta.
“The enthusiasm for soccer in China is growing in leaps and bounds,” said Igesund.
“I predict that in ten years’ time the country will be a force in international football.”