Coaches plead for mentoring

ONE coach had just beaten the other in a bruising league encounter on Saturday, but once the topic turned to development, both Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa and his Free State Stars counterpart, Steve Komphela, were in firm agreement - there is simply not enough being done to grow the game in South Africa.

The Premiership mentors say poor development structures result in a lack of consistency and tactical nous in top-flight football in the country.

"I think it comes down to development," De Sa said after the Buccaneers bagged a 1-0 victory at Orlando Stadium. "I don't think we have genuine development structures where we can coach players from 11, 12 years old to become professional.

"Ajax do it now, but that's it. We feel it at professional level when they get to the top and we haven't really worked on them. That's why we say that, tactically, we are still a poor footballing nation.

"Technically we're very good, but tactically we're way behind and it comes from development."

Komphela said a lack of consistency at the highest level was affecting the growth of the game. "I attribute it to inconsistency in terms of levels of concentration and focus," he said.

"This takes me back to what (former Platinum Stars coach) Miguel Gamondi once mentioned - the problem with South African players is that they are not consistent enough to win one match after the other and continue.

"It is a catch-22 of the modern South African game. Coaches are not given enough time to produce results, and when the losses mount, the knee-jerk reaction is to give the coach the chop."

Komphela pointed to Arsenal, where Arsene Wenger has been in charge since 1996. In that time the side has secured a run of 49 unbeaten league matches.

"If you are chasing a result, you are not as patient as Barcelona. Theyplay the same way whether they win or lose. We change." - Sapa