The problem with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is that there a lot of words and promises of a brighter future, yet no governing body in total control.
What does the South African Football Association (SAFA) do to remedy situations? They change managers. We don’t believe that the players are at fault, we never do, it is always the manager who lacks the skills to win tournaments; either he is not motivating enough, or not tactically good enough. Before Gordon Igesund, we continued to fail; we have failed also to address the players deficiencies and those of the coaches in this country.
What the German FA did was different; they looked at why their team failed and believed there was not enough young players with the necessary quality to make German national team great. So what did they do? They invested in youth development, they implemented guidelines to the German teams that there must be more work put into developing youth, that Germany must produce better quality players.
It is a great example of German efficiency; a plan was put in place and through far sighted planning and co-operation between federation and clubs. A new generation was produced. In the last decade, both the national team and domestic clubs have benefited from an emphasis on youth development and nurturing potential stars.
The problem with the PSL is that there a lot of words and promises of a brighter future, yet no governing body in total control of youth development. Too much fighting between SAFA, PSL and First Division League has resulted in poor management and planning that has restricted the development of a larger pool of talented players. There is a short sightedness to the development model which is restricting the long term development of players in the South Africa.
The game is always changing, new tactics and new styles of players are making the game faster and more tactical. Coaches need to adapt to these new changes in order to keep up and players need to be developed to suit this ever evolving game. Many people now want to play like Spain and Barcelona and of course this is desirable as their football is excellent.
Spain’s success has come from addressing the root issue. It involved improving and educating coaches; educating them to expert level and having them go and work in training centres around the country. This meant that there weren’t few teams who benefitted, but every child. Through this, standards improved, players developed more and after 20 years they have a successful national team and football culture whose foundations were built on expert coaching.
In our Academies the level of coaching is average, we require experts in order to lay strong foundations for young players.
By Lucas Mogale