Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba has been appointed head coach of Bafana Bafana

Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba¬† has been appointed head coach of Bafana Bafana for a record fourth spell ahead of Nigerian football coach Stephen Keshi and Portuguese football coach Carlos Queiroz.

Shakes Mashaba
Shakes Mashaba

The appointment of Mashaba confirms that Gordon Igesund is history but it also means Igesund may not be gone forever, Mashaba himself have been languishing in the SAFA corridors for years, he also headed Under 17, Under 20 and Under 23.

Ten years ago Mashaba was booted from the Bafana throne by SAFA after having spent 2 years at helm, and was replaced with tortured genius Jomo Cosmos boss Jomo Sono who has struggled to keep his club in top flight football much less win the league.

It is worth mentioning that Mashaba’s spell of the early 2000s was not his first, in fact Shakes Mashaba succeeded Stanley Tshabalala in 1992 as the second coach of the newly formed national side before he himself being replaced by Peruvian/ South African football coach Augusto Palacios.

Augusto Palacios was replaced by current Mpumalanga Black Aces mentor and one of South Africa’s genius football coaches Clive Barker who’s success is yet to be matched. Barker inspired South Africa to a 1996 AFCON title before falling on hard times and being shown the door in 1997.

Following Barker’s booting Jomo Sono saw his first spell in 1998 and was followed by French coach Philippe Troussier, South African Trott Moloto, Portuguese Carlos Queiroz and then Mashaba returned for his second spell nearly 10 years after he was thrown out.

He did not last though as SAFA was itching to give Trott Moloto his second bite at the cherry but had to quickly make way for Jomo Sono for his second bite at the cherry, things were so good that Sono thought Mashaba could try for the third time to no success at all and Mashaba made way for Sono’s third spell.

Mashaba and Sono have been tied at three since then for the most turns at Bafana Bafana helm. Since then we have seen the following men take a stab at Bafana Bafana; April Phumo (South African), Stuart Baxter (Scottish), Ted Dumitru  (Romanian), Pitso Mosimane (South African, two spells), Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazilian), Joel Santana (Brazilian), Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazilian), Steve Komphela (South African) and Gordon Igesund (South African).

Should Mashaba struggle to produce good results, he should not be fired, instead he should be given support, bring back Igesund, if need be, on some capacity because of all the men who have come and gone, Igesund is the least deserving to be fired.

Shakes Mashaba is definitely not a horrible choice but SAFA should stick with him no matter what, give him support, not verbal support only – every type of support required by a coach to build a successful team.


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