FORMER Bafana Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune says he would back the appointment of Carlos Queiroz as national team coach if it happens, but feels Gordon Igesund, pictured, should still be kept at the helm. Igesund’s contract is not likely to be renewed when it expires later this year, and he may not even be on the bench for Bafana’s friendly international against Australia next month following a probe into allegations that he encouraged national team players to strike over bonuses before the African Nations Championship (CHAN). Queiroz, currently head coach of World Cupbound Iran, is one of the men earmarked for the position. “Carlos was amazing when ,I played under him. He is one of the best coaches we had.
But we have Gordon now as the coach. I don’t know how many coaches we are going to go through. The problem is deeper than Gordon, who I think is fantastic. Yes, the results have not gone his way, but was there a long-term plan when we appointed Gordon? And that’s what we need to focus on. “We can give Carlos the job but for how long? Two or three years? And then things don’t go well and we change the coach. It’s like a time bomb. And you can’t work like that. I will not point a finger at Igesund and blame him for what’s going on now,” said Fortune, who also worked with Queiroz at Manchester United. Fortune says that whoever is appointed the next Bafana coach, seeing that Igesund seems to be a goner, has to work on a plan with Safa to help improve the national teams, from the under-17s right up to the senior team. “Someone has to come in with a mindset of wanting to improve all the national teams. Generation after generation we need to see players coming through. But right now we are not producing that and things need to change. We need to develop players. We need to be winning tournaments, from junior level.
Are we just going to play football for years and say Bafana Bafana is doing well? “We need to have plan, we need to have structures, from under-10s up to senior level. I would like to meet Safa one day. Because I don’t care about anything else, I just want to see our football improving. I am doing my coaching badges now and my dream would be to coach the national team.” Fortune was at the Gauteng Future Champions International tournament for under-17s last week. Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro won the competition, beating defending champions Club Tijuana on penalties. Mamelodi Sundowns were the best performing South African club, finishing in fourth place after topping their group. SuperSport United, Jomo Cosmos and Sunward Park High School could not get past the group phase.