Stuart Baxter rebuffs rumours of fallout with Thabo Senong – News

Posted: 14 February 2019
Time: 15:00

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has clarified the reasons behind Amajita coach Thabo Senong’s no longer being a part of the senior team setup.

Baxter took over the senior national team reigns from Shakes Mashaba in May 2017, after the veteran tactician was sacked a few months prior, to find Senong, Molefi Ntseki and Owen Da Gama in the setup at the time.

Da Gama was subsequently relieved of his duty as national under-23 coach and senior assistant, but Ntseki and Senong were retained as the national under-17 and under-20 mentors respectively.

After aiding the Briton in Bafana’s 2-0 2019 AFCON qualifying victory away to Nigeria in June 2017, both coaches were replaced in Baxter’s technical team as Quinton Fortune was appointed his assistant.

Shortly thereafter, rumours began to surface that Senong was deemed unworthy of a seat alongside the former Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United coach, but this has since been put to bed.

“Thabo had his team and came with me and Molefe to the first Nigeria game [in 2017] and it became more and more obvious that Thabo was an asset in that area,” explained Baxter.

“Thabo was taking his coaching licences and it became apparent we would be drawing him back from his preferred area of focus.

“When I was with England, I could do it [help out at senior level] but I wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with it; I preferred working with the top team.

“With Thabo, he’s very comfortable with [the junior team] – he’s got a great knowledge of the youth players in the country, so it was good for that.

“In fact, I’ve even been on some of Thabo’s camps and done some work with him – including at COSAFA, where I did two sessions and a presentation with them.

“So, [there’s been no fallout], it’s just about using assets where they are the most effective.”

Baxter also further clarified the return of Ntseki as his assistant while explaining the value he brings to the senior team at present.

“After swinging around a bit with Quinton [Fortune] and Shaun [Bartlett], we’ve also got Molefi, who I feel is a good foil to have around,” he added.

“He knows the mentality [of the players] better than me, probably, and at the same time he knows the way I work after being with me in Nigeria and in recent camps.”

Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)

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Author : Chad Klate (@CKlatey)

Publish date : 2019-02-14 13:08:49

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