MICHAELSON GUMEDE – Captain marvellous of the Class of ’96, Neil Tovey has landed himself a job at SAFA (South Africa Football Association) as the of the association, a position that has been filled by Fran Hilton-Smith on interim basis.
For many years, football fans across the nation have been calling for SAFA to employ former football players to administrate the federation, which, according to people on the ground, will make it easier to pave the way forward if there were to be people who know football, literally, at the steering wheel.
Tovey’s appointment comes at a time when Coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba’s Bafana Bafana has been performing poorly in front of goal, especially on the big stage, and have been tactically unsound – Mashaba said it himself that he is “not” a tactician.
At the same time, Mashaba’s player selection has come under fire on numerous occasions.
Part of a Technical Director’s duty is to assist the coach with player selection, a speciality that Tovey excels in – together with Phil Masinga, Tovey he has been spearheading the Castle Lager SuperStars programme since 2012.
The role of a Technical Director may differ from country-to-country.
However, the main responsibly of such technical leaders remains the same – which is to provide concepts, solutions and frameworks which are best to implement a country’s football technical policy.
Former Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Ted Dumitru, who is currently the Technical Advisor of the South African Football Coaches Association, Dumitru shares his knowledge and expertise on the Technical Director role, and explains the importance of having a technical director in the Bafana Bafana setup.
“A technical director, in present conditions and development status of South African football would have to address much more important tasks than just the assessing the performance of national teams and their coaches.
“ In an extremely difficult situation where there is no unified football mentality, divergent coaching approaches, insufficient pool of young talent, improper competition system and severe shortage of training facilities,” according to Dumitru, the role of a Technical Director becomes immensely important.
“The first priority of the Technical Director has to be the implementation of recently accepted philosophy, without this technical constitution, there cannot be answers, guidance and any control of any fundamental issues that determine development and performance in South African football.
“The Technical Director in the current context of South African football must be an impeccable technical educator, competent developer, who can conceptualise technical development according to the very specific local realities and critical needs.
“He has no role to play in ‘how to coach’, but his responsibility on indicating must be ‘what must be coached’ is vital,” said Dumitru.