Top PSL coaches headline return of CAF A license to SA

Top PSL coaches headline return of CAF A license to SA

The highly sought-after CAF A License coaching course returns to South Africa on Monday, with notable Premier Soccer League (PSL) coaches headlining the class of 2023/2024.

After a six-year wait, South African Football Association (SAFA) Technical Director Walter Steenbok, revealed the first phase of the CAF A license coaching course will begin this month. Gavin Hunt of SuperSport United, Cape Town City’s Eric Tinkler, and Steve Barker of Stellenbosch FC are among the 25 coaches chosen from a pool of 65 applications.

"There's been a lot of respect, let alone interest of senior coaches who have shown a lot of humility to come and grace the course", he told SABC Sport.

"Gavin Hunt, a multiple championship winner. Eric Tinkler, Bafana [Bafana] stalwart, is also a serial cup winner in South Africa. Steven Barker, who will [also] be part of this course. That shows the respect senior coaches have afforded their associations, and of course, CAF, for them to be on this platform", he said. 

Hunt’s enrollment in the course implies he’ll be able to sit on the bench for the CAF Confederation group stage matches later this month, unlike previously, when he was forced to be in the stands due to the lack of this license required in  CAF inter-club matches. 

Meanwhile, Steenbok claims, in addition to the Premier Division, there has been a focus on National First Division (NFD) coaches and other structures. 

"The priority was always coaches who are in the PSL and also in the NFD. Of course, coaches also in the Hollywoodbets Super League, the technical director of the Tshwane University of Technology Ladies team - Dr Alliance Kubayi -  is also there." 

The coaches, who’ve had different paths in the game, will be required to complete 200 hours between now and the fourth and last phase in June 2024. 

"We also had to look at the Sasol League coaches, ABC Motsepe League coaches, and of course, look at ex-professional players, who've continued to want to learn more. So, we then had to accommodate that. 

"It's a fairly nice group that includes goalkeepers who worked in the Premier League and national team set-up. We've also afforded Zambia three spots. 

"We have a nice memorandum of understanding [with Zambia], most of our coaches have been crossing the border to go to Zambia, to Botswana. We've also afforded them three positions there." 

 Steenbok intended to return the coaching course in December 2022. Unfortunately, they were not compliant with the CAF Convention.