Mashaba has a mountain to climb

Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba was allegedly robbed in Auckland park on Thursday when he made a quick stop at a shop. Picture: Carl Fourie / Gallo Images.

Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba was allegedly robbed in Auckland park on Thursday when he made a quick stop at a shop. Picture: Carl Fourie / Gallo Images.

Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba says the excitement he felt on being appointed Bafana Bafana coach has been tempered by the work he faces in building a successful senior national team.

“I was excited (when I first heard) but now I have realised there is so much work,” said Mashaba, at OR Tambo International airport after returning from a tour of West Africa with the national under-20 side.

“I was starting to ask the question of whether I would succeed, but I know people are backing me, (including) my wife and my daughter.”

Mashaba spoke of a decline in standards in South African football since the heyday of 1996, when Bafana Bafana won the African Nations Cup on home soil.

“In Zulu we have a word ‘Umkhonto’ – you must have history,” said Mashaba.

“I mentioned (Sizwe) Motaung, (David) Nyathi, ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, we don’t have those players (now), we don’t have players that can effect things in a game.”

Mashaba’s first task with Bafana is to qualify them for the 2015 African Nations Cup, with Bafana’s first qualification game in Sudan exactly a month away.

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today in print

today in print