Former Bafana captain Steven Pienaar takes first steps towards coaching career

Former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar attends his Steven Pienaar Community Cup games in Westbury, Johanneburg, this weekend.
Former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar attends his Steven Pienaar Community Cup games in Westbury, Johanneburg, this weekend.
Image: Splash PR

Steven Pienaar has begun his first steps into earning his coaching qualifications‚ starting his Uefa A and B licence courses in Ireland this month‚ but is still weighing up whether that is his next career path.

The former Bafana Bafana captain said he has had offers to begin working in the youth structures with the club he spent most of his career at‚ English Premier League outfit Everton‚ and will consider those‚ or perhaps going into television analysis work.

Pienaar said Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy had given the former Ajax Amsterdam‚ Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder advice on his path to take beginning his Uefa courses.

“He gave me some advice on where to go if you want to do your badges‚ and the people who you work with‚” Pienaar said.

“A lot of people think it’s easy to become a coach when you’ve been a player‚ but actually there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes‚ and you have to study stuff that as a player you were used to doing.

“And we take it for granted when we see coaches out there – they have to put in the hours to make sure that the whole team functions.”

These were Pienaar’s first steps to a possible career on coaching.

“Last week was actually the first time I stood on a pitch and gave some sessions‚” he said.

“I enjoyed it being out there. But I’ll have to wait and see if it really is for me.

“It was the Uefa A and B. I have to continue again next year for the part two.

“I did it in Ireland because the waiting list in Holland is too long‚ and they only take a certain amount of coaches. In Ireland if you’ve played international football you go straight in.

“You have to learn if you want to become a coach. You have to put the hours in. And for me the course is a start.

“If I want to go into TV work‚ be an analyst‚ you need that coaching information behind you. You have to see things that other guys don’t see.”

Pienaar said entering coaching courses was a confirmation of his retirement from playing‚ which was announced in March.

He had returned to the Premier Soccer League and signed for Bidvest Wits at the start of the 2017-18 season.

After some initial game time in a horror season for the PSL champions‚ Pienaar increasingly became marginalised.

“It’s confirmed. But actually while I was on the coaching course I got a few offers of whether I still want to play. But‚ nah‚” he said.

Would he follow former Bafana players like McCarthy and Shaun Bartlett coaching in the PSL or National First Division?

“It depends. Everton asked me a few times if I want to come in and start doing some work with the kids‚ the Under-15s and U-18s. And obviously you need your coaching badges‚” Pienaar said.

“It would be a great place to start and learn the trade‚ and work with good guys around you. Who knows‚ maybe in the next few months I’ll be standing on a field.”

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