Gordon tells why he picked Tommy
GORDON Igesund says the new Bafana Bafana No2, Thomas Madigage, is one of the country's most successful assistant coaches and will "add great value" to the national team.
Safa yesterday announced long-serving Supersport United assistant Madigage as assistant to new Bafana head coach Igesund.
Safa technical director Serame Letsoaka will be the second assistant coach and will join the national team when they are in camp.
"Generally I'm very happy and I think it's a very strong technical team," Igesund told The Times yesterday.
The coach, at his own request, has also formed a "reference group", consisting of former Bafana coaches Clive Barker, Jomo Sono and Shakes Mashaba, who will advise Igesund.
Madigage was one of South Africa's brightest prospects as a player, but his career was blighted by injury. He was Supersport's assistant to Pitso Mosimane, the recently ousted Bafana head coach, under whom Madigage won a succession of cup trophies.
Working with United incumbent Gavin Hunt, Madigage won three successive league titles between 2008 and 2010, and last season's Nedbank Cup.
"I went for Tommy Madigage because in my opinion he really is a good coach and I think he can add a lot of value," Igesund said.
"Over the last 10 years or so he's been consistent, he's been assistant coach of a team that likes to win things and to a person who also has got that winning mentality in Gavin Hunt.
"I think Tommy has not got the recognition he deserves. But he's been, without any doubt, the most successful assistant coach in the country by a long way.
"With the input I got about him from a lot of people, I'm very happy, and so are the [Safa] technical committee."
Igesund said Letsoaka will add value because, as Safa's technical director, he "knows the players".
"He's also on the same page as me when I talk to him. I've known him for many years."
In requesting the reference group of Barker, Sono and Mashaba, Igesund said he has kept to his word of tapping into the knowledge and experience available to him in South African football.
Igesund also roped in goalkeeper-coach Alex Heredia, having previously worked with him at Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Igesund said he is planning a game before Bafana go to Sao Paulo to meet Brazil on September 7. It is likely to be scheduled on the Fifa friendly match day of August 15.