Give Pitso the job and streamline Bafana's overall strategy - Palacios
Cape Town - Former Peruvian international and Orlando Pirates development director, Augusto Palacios, himself a former Bafana coach of note, believes SAFA should waste no time in offering the job to Pitso Mosimane on a permanent basis while invoking a new streamlined strategy for the national team.
Following the resignation of Stuart Baxter, Molefi Ntseki is currently in charge in a caretaker capacity for the friendly international against Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday, September 7.
"While Pitso's earlier tenure as the Bafana coach ended on something of a sour note after a lengthy apprenticeship," says Palacios, "that was eight years ago and he has matured considerably, with the success he has achieved with Mamelodi Sundowns, both in PSL domestic competition and CAF's African events, now entitling him to be regarded as the number one contender for the national coaching position.
"Obviously he has one of the plum jobs in South African soccer with mining magnate Patrice Motsepe's successful and professional outfit and you could not blame him if he is not looking to make a move, but if I had anything to do with it I would be sounding out Pitso right now to gauge his feelings about Bafana."
Palacios also believes the search for a new Bafana coach prior to the next critical undertaking - namely the qualifying matches for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Cameroon - should evolve around a South African choice.
"But I am not dogmatic in this," he added. "If the right South African is not apparent on the horizon for one reason or another, I would not be averse to an overseas choice if a coach with the right experience and qualifications for the job comes into the picture."
But Palacios believes that apart from making the right head coaching selection for Bafana, it is equally important and paramount for SAFA to provide him with the technical and administrative support of his choice in mapping out preparations and match programmes thoroughly in a spirit of unison.
Asked what would be his reaction if he was offered the Bafana job, which he handled as well as anyone during a previous tenure after South Africa's readmission into FIFA in the 1990s, the canny Peruvian who represented the South American country in the World Cup and afterwards showed his class as a polished midfielder in the NPSL, said he had not "given the matter a thought."