Neil Tovey: Itumeleng Khune vindicated Stuart Baxter's decision to call Lee Baxter to Bafana Bafana


Plenty of fuss was made amongst Bafana Bafana supporters and the media over the perceived nepotism from Baxter in calling up his son Lee as a replacement for Andre Arendse in the build-up to their crucial AFCON qualifier last weekend.

While the former SuperSport United mentor explained his decision, some fans still questioned the Brit's understanding of South Africa’s socio-political situation.

However, looking at it in hindsight, Tovey feels Baxter made a technically sound decision by calling on the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper coach given that Khune was able to keep a clean sheet against The Mediterranean Knights last Saturday.

“Khune had an unbelievable game, he played very, very well. So [Stuart calling up his son] didn’t distract Bafana at all,” defended Tovey.

“I mean, sometimes you have a situation where Andre Arendse had a family issue that he needed to take care of, so we needed to get a goalkeeper coach immediately, and sometimes you have to make decisions that are technically sound.

“Technically sound was that [Lee] Baxter was working with Khune and had worked with [Ronwen Williams], so technically it was a decision that had to be made whether it doesn’t look right or not, sometimes technically it’s right.”

The former Bafana skipper then admitted the situation exposed the South African Football Association’s lack of foresight in developing sufficiently qualified goalkeeper coaches, but assured that corrective measures are already being taken.

“We’re working on it, putting programmes in place – we have the likes of Calvin Marlin going through all our coaching courses,” he added.

“All our ex-goalkeepers, a lot of them are going through our coaching courses, but unfortunately there’s a process that needs to be followed.

“To do your goalkeeping courses you need to go through the actual [coaching] courses themselves and then branch off into the goalkeeping side.

“In other words, if you do a basic goalkeeping course, you have to have gone through the CAF C Licence course, which is busy. So the objective is to now get all our aspiring goalkeeping coaches going through the natural courses and then go into basic, advanced and professional [goalkeeping] courses.”