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Sat Apr 19 08:53:47 SAST 2014

Who's the man?

Mazola Molefe and Marc Strydom | 15 June, 2012 06:410 Comments

SportLIVE's soccer writers Mazola Molefe and Marc Strydom look at the shortlist for the Bafana Bafana coaching job.

GORDON IGESUND

Age: 55

Current job: Moroka Swallows coach

Playing experience: In a short football career lasting only four years, he played as a striker for Durban City, Durban United, Highlands Park, Durban Bush Bucks, Amazulu, D'Alberton Callies and African Wanderers, and also in Austria for GAK and Admira Wacker.

Achievements: He is the most success-ful local coach, having won four Premier League titles with four different teams - Manning Rangers (1997), Orlando Pirates (2001), Santos (2002) and Mamelodi Sundowns (2006). Was voted coach of the year last season.

What our experts say about him ...

Mazola Molefe: Strengths - Has the knack to win trophies with unfancied teams like he did with Rangers and Santos. An excellent man manager.

Weaknesses - Younger players struggle to make immediate impact. Can rely too much on the old guard.

Marc Strydom: Strengths - He's hugely experienced, having coached in South Africa since the late 1980s. He can work miracles with limited resources - two of his four league titles came at 'small' clubs. A superb motivator and coach with an insatiable desire to win.

Weaknesses - Completely untested at international level. He's been passed up for the national team job so many times that there are question marks over whether he will have the political backing when things start to go wrong.

GAVIN HUNT

Age: 47

Current job: Supersport United coach

Playing experience: A right back for Hellenic, but was forced into early retirement in 1994 after suffering an Achilles tendon injury.

Achievements: Won the Premier League title three times in a row as coach of Supersport between 2008 and 2010. Hunt added to his only ever cup win with Moroka Swallows in 2004 by clinching last season's Nedbank Cup with United. He's won coach of the year four times.

What our experts say about him ...

Mazola Molefe: Strengths - A very competitive coach and has been rewarded for it with all the league titles. Can spot talent to close gaps left by big-name players.

Weaknesses - His direct football at Supersport will hardly be a legacy for a national team. Hunt also doesn't have experience at international level.

Marc Strydom: Strengths - He's ultra-competitive and known for getting results out of players who were less known before arriving at his team. Has a winner's mentality and as hard as nails, which resulted in three titles in succession.

Weaknesses: He's bristly and abrasive, and can have a tempestuous relationship with the press. There are question marks over whether Hunt can employ a more sophisticated game plan at international level than the direct approach he has used at Supersport.

STEVE KOMPHELA

Age: 44

Current job: Free State Stars coach

Playing experience: Former Free State Stars and Kaizer Chiefs central defender. Komphela also ended his career in Turkey, where he played from 1993 to 1997 following his big move from Amakhosi. Also captained Bafana.

Achievements: Made his mark as the SA under-23 coach despite failing to reach the Olympics. He is yet to win any silverware with Free State Stars, but led them to their best finish (fourth place) in the Premiership in 2009. Stars again finished in the top 8 last season.

What our experts say about him ...

Mazola Molefe: Strengths - Working with limited resources at Free State Stars and challenging for the league title has caught the attention of Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs.

Weaknesses - Failure to qualify for the Olympics with the under-23 team is a blemish on his record. He is also untested at Bafana level and has yet to win a cup in the Premiership.

Marc Strydom: Strengths - An inventive coach with a strong character - his teams play competitive, sophisticated football. He's been involved with the senior national team as an assistant, and as the SA under-23s coach.Weaknesses - The under-23 team he coached failed to reach the Olympics, which is a blemish on his CV. Despite some impressive football, his club sides have never actually won silverware.

NEIL TOVEY

Age: 49

Current job: Thanda Royal Zulu coach (First Division)

Playing experience: Remembered mostly from his time with Kaizer Chiefs as defender and captain. Made 52 appearances for Bafana and captained them.

Achievements: Led Bafana Bafana to victory in the 1996 Nations Cup. Won the Premier League as co-coach with Miguel Gamondi at Mamelodi Sundowns in 2006 before being sacked by the Pretoria side. Also guided former team Amazulu to the final of the 2010 Nedbank Cup, losing 3-0 to Wits at Soccer City.

What our experts say about him ...

Mazola Molefe: Strengths - His glory days as a footballer carry a lot of weight and have earned him respect. He also helped deliver a league title for Sundowns following five barren years. Turned the Amazulu team around to reach the Nedbank Cup final in 2010.

Weaknesses - Apart from having no international experience as a coach, Tovey has twice been fired and rehired by Sundowns and Amazulu, with both clubs saying they could not see where the club was headed under his leadership.

Marc Strydom: Strengths - He was the ultimate captain and leader, both for Bafana and Chiefs. His opinions on the game are hugely respected.

Weaknesses - Inexperience, even at club level, where he's had mixed results in a still formative career. But also hasn't always had the opportunities.

SHAKES MASHABA

Age: 61

Current job: SA under-23 coach

Playing experience: Well-known for his defensive abilities as a rearguard for Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates in the late 1970s. Mashaba often kept feared playmaker Jomo Sono at bay in crucial derbies while he was with the Dube Birds and the latter was a Buccaneer.

Achievements: Mashaba is the only SA coach to take the men's football team to the Olympics in 2000. He has also won the most games as coach of Bafana Bafana from 2002 to 2004.

What our experts say about him ...

Mazola Molefe: Strengths - Great motivator and reads the game well. Also selects players on merit and their willingness to play for the team. This cost him his Bafana job in the past.

Weaknesses - Can get personal with club bosses and his no-nonsense approach often isolates him and affects the team's results.

Marc Strydom: Strengths - He's the ultimate father figure to his players. All the international teams he's coached have achieved results, often without the complete support of his employers. An excellent motivator, commanding and respected figure in SA football.

Weaknesses - While his ability to stand up to administrators is respected, a stubborn streak has landed him in trouble. He's coached Bafana before, so wouldn't his appointment be a step backwards?

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