bafana coach set to samba

HARD CHALLEMGE: New Bafana Bafana coach Joel Natalino Santana arrives at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg yesterday. He is flanked by SA Football Association CEO Raymond Hack and police officers. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 18/05/2008. © Sowetan.\n\nFM 23/5/2008 PG 22. Joel Santana. New Bafana Bafana coach.
HARD CHALLEMGE: New Bafana Bafana coach Joel Natalino Santana arrives at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg yesterday. He is flanked by SA Football Association CEO Raymond Hack and police officers. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 18/05/2008. © Sowetan.\n\nFM 23/5/2008 PG 22. Joel Santana. New Bafana Bafana coach.

Bafana Bafana's new coach Joel Santana jetted into a scrum of media photographers when he arrived at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport yesterday.

Bafana Bafana's new coach Joel Santana jetted into a scrum of media photographers when he arrived at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport yesterday.

It took Santana's South African Police Service's escort less than a minute to whisk him out of the airport and into his car en route to his hotel.

Santana did not speak to reporters but the South African Football Association's chief executive officer, Raymond Hack, said Santana would be introduced to the media at a press conference at Safa House today.

Santana replaces fellow Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, who caused a major shock last month when he resigned due to the ill-health of his wife.

Santana will coach Bafana until the end of the 2010 World Cup finals to be staged in South Africa.

He met with his two assistant coaches Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane for the first time yesterday.

Hack told reporters: "Santana will be meeting with his technical team over the next three days to familiarise himself with his new players before announcing his squad to play Nigeria in Abuja on June 1 in the opening Group Four 2010 African Nations Cup qualifier.

"The two assistant coaches will help Santana select the squad for Nigeria, which will be announced on Wednesday. Santana will not answer questions on the squad at Monday's briefing as he will not have had time to find his feet.

"But he is prepared to discuss tactics and other aspects of his career. But on Wednesday he will be up to speed and discuss his new squad."

Santana has no experience of coaching an international team. He has won the Rio de Janeiro State Championships four times. He faces a tough challenge when he leads Bafana against old enemies Nigeria.

Hack also said Santana's work permit was in order and that there would be no repeat of the confusion over getting a work permit for Parreira.

He said Santana was keen to watch a local Premier Soccer League match yesterday, which was the final round of the Absa Premiership.

"The coach indicated he would like to watch one of the PSL matches today.

"He is also keen to get started coaching Bafana. He has had discussions about Bafana players with Parreira," said Hack.

Santana will officially take charge of Bafana on Wednesday. His wife, who Hack said was in good health, has stayed behind in Brazil. - Sapa

X