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Baxter’s Surprise Pick For AFCON

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that he has asked former national team defender Mark Fish to consider taking on the role of opposition analyst ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

Baxter had earmarked Quinton Fortune initially, but the latter has said that he is not available to take up the responsibility.

Read: Pitso: I Have Made Enemies

“Mark is not a coach, but he is a football person. And if he can understand what I am looking for we can maybe get him on board,” the Bafana coach told the media on Thursday morning.

“If I send someone to look at the opposition they are only looking at five things – I don’t want to know how the leftback laces his boots. What we need to know is how they attack on transition, how do they attack when we are compact, how do they defend on transition, how do they defend when we have the ball with our goalkeeper and they have their team organised. That is all I need to know.”

Fish was part of Bafana’s golden generation that won the 1996 AFCON on home soil and Baxter said his status would also be a massive influence on his team in building up to the tournament in Egypt.

Read: Fortune Back At Bafana? 

“He has a recognisable face and he is well known in Europe (he played in Italy and England). I imagine any of the lads would feel quite good having Mark coming to check on them,” said Baxter. “I have spoken to him and he is considering the role.”

Baxter is currently being assisted by under-17 coach Molefi Ntseki.    

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