Heredia Backs Baxter, Insists Education Is Happening
Long-serving goalkeeper coach, Alex Heredia, has backed Stuart Baxter’s decision to appoint his son, Lee, as Bafana Bafana’s goalkeeper coach, though insists coaching education is happening.
Heredia, who has been involved in more than 130 games for Bafana over the years and many more within the youth setup at the South African Football Association, believes that – in the circumstances – the Bafana coach was right to bring in somebody that was qualified to do the job, but also whom he knew and trusted.
The Argentine has been involved at SAFA for many years and is a FIFA accredited goalkeeper coach, however, he was unavailable to step in when Andre Arendse ruled himself out, with Heredia explaining that he has now hung up his gloves as a goalkeeper coach.
Baxter explained that his son was appointed due to the fact that, not only is he qualified to do the job in terms of paper qualifications, but also because he is working with Itumeleng Khune and Kaizer Chiefs and previously worked with Ronwen Williams at SuperSport United.
Heredia agrees with the decision, telling the Siya crew, “Baxter is entitled to choose his technical team. In this particular case – with Andre out – he chose Lee because currently Lee is working with Khune and knows Ronwen from his time at SuperSport. It’s the right decision. Lee knows them, they’re comfortable. Baxter made the right choice with Lee.”
Lee Baxter has his UEFA A Coaching Licence, a National A Goalkeeper Licence, his personal trainer licence, a Nutritionist licence and is a certified strength coach – making him more than qualified for the job – but Heredia insists that, while the right choice, he is not the only person on the continent that is capable.
He said, “What I do want to say though, is that there is coaching education happening here in South Africa. It exists. We have goalkeeper courses being done to help build things for the future. Lee isn’t the only qualified coach in the continent to do the job, South Africa has goalkeeper has coaches and education that has been implementing over the years, but right now I think he’s made the right choice.
“Since 2005 I’ve been creating SAFA’s goalkeeping department but never been officially implemented because I’m working on a casual basis. The goalkeeper coaching education department exists in my office and my computer…”
Bafana take on Libya tomorrow in their second African Cup of Nations qualifier for the 2019 edition of the competition.