For the past three years, local coaches made a tremendous mark in the Premier League. There was even a time when more than half of the teams were coached by locals who were then taking over from the foreign legion of coaches who had been dominating the local scene for a long time.
Coaches like Seth ‘Tazha’ Moleofhi, Mooketsi ‘Teenage Mpote, Mooketsi ‘China’ Mading, Emmanuel ‘Shakes’ Letshwiti, David Bright, Stan Tshosane, Sthandwa Mogwadi, Oris ‘Boyo’ Radipotsane and Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare were notable and able coaches. The tide now seems to have turned a little bit because locals are vanishing from the Premier league little by little and foreign coaches have once again taken the reigns.
It is only Tshosane and two new kids on the block, Letang ‘Rasta’Kgengwenyane of Mogoditshane Fighters and Boteti Young Fighters’ Kenneth Mogae, who are in the Premier League.
Moleofhi, Mpote, Mading are coaching in the First Divisions for Great North Tigers, Miscellenios and FC Satmos, respectively. Bright has joined the professional ranks in South Africa while Mogwadi just left for further studies. Letshwiti, who used to coach Prisons XI, is reported coaching the juniors of the team. Nare on the other hand, was shown the door by Township Rollers towards the end of last year.
The question that is on the lips of many people is whether local coaches are not given support or they are not good enough to sustain the elite league pressure. What can also be taken note of is that local teams are quick to fire coaches once the results are not forthcoming while big successful clubs have invested heavily in the coaches no matter the results take longer time to come. For instance, it took Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson five years to win any silverware and in those years he was still given all the necessary support. On the other hand, Nare laments inadequate structures and support systems to train local coaches. He said many coaches venture into coaching mainly because of the passion they have for the game but little is attractive to the profession. Nare, who also once had stints at Premier League sides Mochudi Centre Chiefs and BMC told Sunday Standard that local coaches also have themselves to blame because most of them want to start coaching at the top instead of starting from the lower divisions.
“I am telling you we have many good local coaches in this country and if they can follow all the necessary procedures they can go places. As coaches, we need to start from the lower divisions and eventually something very positive will come on the way. For instance when I started coaching I started at Lobsec senior secondary and it did not take me long when I took them to the finals of the BISA Coca Cola finals. Then I joined another lower division side Black Peril and helped them gain promotion to the First Division. After Black Peril it was Maletamotse and I did the same by taking them to the First Division. From there, I took the challenges of the Premier League,” he said.
On whether local teams give local coaches all the necessary support, he did not want to dwell too much on the matter saying some do while others do not.
However, one local coach who preferred anonymity slammed local teams for not giving local coaches all the necessary support. The coach said once the results start coming, jealousy develops and the management will do all they can to frustrate him.
“We have capable coaches in this country who can improve the football of this country tremendously. Just look at what Major David Bright did with the national Under 23 under difficult circumstances. We are very good and the main problem is the politics of the teams,” he said.
The coach also said many local teams prefer foreigners because teams under pay them so that they can easily control them. He said the trend would do little to help the development of football if teams cannot put their houses in order.
“Most of the foreign coaches are from neighbouring countries and in those countries you cannot find a foreign coach because they give theirs priority and all the necessary support,” he said.