- Stuart Baxter has asked former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett to join the team as a temporary assistant coach
- Bartlett has agreed to a deal with SAFA which will see him assist Bafana-Bafana in the two upcoming matches against Seychelles
- Baxter confirmed that it was a game-by-game agreement but refused to rule out the deal becoming more permanent at some point in the future
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has called on the experience and skill of former Bafana star striker Shaun Bartlett ahead of the team’s two crucial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches against Seychelles.
Baxter confirmed that he had asked Bartlett to become a temporary assistant Bafana-Bafana coach. Bartlett has entered into an agreement with the South African Football Association for the upcoming matches on Saturday and next Tuesday.
Baxter confirmed that Bartlett had joined the squad on a match-by-match basis but crucially refused to rule out the deal becoming more permanent at some point in the future.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Baxter has been in his role as head coach of Bafana for just over a year-and-a-half and has yet to appoint some key permanent personnel, most notably assistant coaches.
Baxter has spoken about the challenges of finding the right person for the job, these challenges include not poaching a local coach from a PSL team and not having an unlimited budget to employ staff.
TimesLive.co.za reported that Baxter said he was pleased to bring Bartlett into the fold and would obviously be assessing how he fits into the dynamic on a game-by-game basis before thinking ahead but he and the other key members of the team were looking at bringing Bartlett into the staffing fold.
Bartlett scored 28 goals in 78 matches for Bafana as a player. He has experience coaching in the PSL having spent time with Golden Arrows and the University of Pretoria.
Baxter will be desperate to win the back-to-back encounter against Seychelles which starts at the FNB Stadium on Saturday before the return leg of the round is played on Tuesday. Victory in both matches will virtually ensure Bafana qualifies for the 2019 AFCON.
Libya currently leads Group E on goal difference while South Africa is in second with Nigeria in an unaccustomed third place, Seychelles remain at the bottom of the group. Libya was rocked earlier on Wednesday when its head coach suddenly announced his departure from the team.
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