Matthew Booth: Shakes Mashaba is his own man


Booth, who is now retired and played under Mashaba at national team level, firmly believes the coach's character stands him in good stead as far as guiding Bafana is concerned.

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“Look, right on the get-go when he was chosen I maintained to all the journalists that he is the right coach at this point,” Booth tells this website.
“We had hit rock bottom and we need to develop a good, young core of players and he has the ability to unearth good talent. He’s been part of the SAFA structures for a very long time and I just thought he was the best choice.
“Sure, he’s just surprised everybody with the results that he’s getting … he’s also made some brave decisions and when I heard that Rivaldo Coetzee was playing against Congo I held my breath while the logical thing to do could have been to play Erick Mathoho with Tefu Mashamaite in central defence, but he proved everybody wrong. ‘Shakes’ is very much his own man and he won’t let anybody dictate to him, as SAFA found out in the past,” Booth continues.

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“That’s the aspect of his character that I admire a lot about him … to be honest with ourselves, we should be qualifying in this manner all the time, but ‘Shakes’ has turned it around for us in a very short space of time. I have always maintained that if you get a coach who the players are always willing to play for, that’s half the job done - guys like Clive Barker and Jomo Sono.

“If you get a coach like that, it is a half a job done really. Footballers are simple beings and we don’t need a lot of information in our heads.”