SAFA tightens screws in the country's coaching system

THE National Executive Committee (NEC) of the South Africa African Football Association (SAFA) has ratified policies that will change the face of coaching in this country.

The NEC, through SAFA’s Technical Committee, has endorsed that from the 2012/2013 season no coach will be allowed to sit on the bench of any club without proper qualifications.

The ruling will not be enforced in the Premier Soccer League for now because the pool of professional coaches is currently small, but it will come into effect in the 2013/2014 season.

The qualifications will also be level-specific:

1.    PSL

 – Pro Licence Level Three

2.    National First Division 

– Level Two qualification

3.    Vodacom League

– Level One qualification

4.    National/Inter-provincial tournaments

– Level One

5.    SAB  

– Introductory course

6.    Schools 

– Introductory course

Level One enables coaching at the junior and senior amateur levels. The trained group can then form the nucleus of a coaching fraternity that the Second Division (Vodacom League) clubs can select from.
Simultaneously, it must be ensured that the Level One graduates are trained at Levels Two and Three so that there can be a legislation for the NSL/PSL to hire from the Level Two group for the First Division and from the Level Three group for the Premier League.

With thirty-two (32) coaching slots in the First Division and the PSL, at least sixty (60) coaches need to be trained at Level Three to make it viable for the PSL to hire from the Level Three pool. Only when that sixty (60) has been trained can there be legislation in place on the policy of hiring coaches at the PSL level.
“We would like the ratio of coaches to teams to be one is to three, meaning we need to have 48 trained Level Three coaches from where they can hire coaches. And at this level of competition, however, we cannot hope to enforce an all-South African coaching pool since we must make room for synergy with the international coaching developments other than through the training programs we develop. In that regard, we will still allow foreign coaches to be hired in the country as long as they bring in more experience and expertise, but the condition for that is that they mush always be assisted by a qualified local coach for skills transfer,” said SAFA Technical Director Serame Letsoaka.

Once the contract of the foreign coach has expired and the club does not want to renew or extend, then the coach must leave country.
Letsoaka adds that by 2012/13 the following needs to happen to make our coaching development system bear fruit:

Phase 1:  Mandate the Second Division (Vodacom League) teams must hire a coach with the minimum Level One qualification.
Phase 2:  Mandate the National First Division must hire a coach with a minimum Level Two qualification. Phase 3: All teams below Second Division (Vodacom) will now be coached by a coach with a minimuch qualification of Introductory qualification.

By 2013/14 we expected to have developed a minimum total of 55 Level Three coaches hence we are going to legislate that the PSL should hire from our Level Three coaches.
Currently there are 33 qualified Pro Licence/Level 3 coaches who graduated this year. The second group will start early in 2012, and it is expected that there will be minimum 55 coaches by the end of 2012.
Plans are also afoot to regarding the Credentialing, Licensing and Validation of Coaches. Some of the objectives are:

•    To establish a system of credentialing for coaches in South Africa through the regular offering of coaching courses;

•    To establish a system of licensing for all coaches in South Africa;

•    To establish a system of validating at regular intervals all coaching licences in South Africa;

Letsoaka has also expressed concerns about the many coaches that attend courses and not impart the knowledge they have gained.

“We are not happy with the current status because a great number of coaches have been educated by us but are not involved in the development of the game for one reason or the other. And because of that, we have mechanisms in place that say for any coach to be allowed to the next level of training, they need to have been active for a year at a club or school doing internship.  They will also be required to produce a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) to support their application. This rule will be in place from 2012,” concluded Letsoaka.

SAFA spends just over twenty-thousand rand (R20 000) to develop a Level One coach; just over thirty-thousand rand (R30 000) for a Level Two coach and just over seventy-thousand rand (R70 000) for a Level 3 coach.
There are over 500 Level One coaches that have been trained and a little more than 200 Level Two coaches that been educated, but most of these coaches are not practicing anywhere, either in clubs or schools.

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