He may be in the beginning stages of his coaching career but former Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar has revealed his lofty ambitions of one day becoming the national team coach.
Since calling time on his successful career back in 2018, Pienaar, 40, has ventured into coaching, where just as during his playing days, has started at grassroots level.
Pienaar returned to Europe where he took up the reins at his former club Ajax Amsterdam, first as a skills coach for the club’s under 16 midfielders and then later as an assistant coach in the club’s under 18 team, a position he currently holds.
Actively pursuing his UEFA Pro license which was slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pienaar has set his sights on the national team job in future as he makes his way through the ranks.
“Yeah let’s hope [so]. Obviously it’s a dream for every player or manager to coach your national team and that dream is still with me. I know I am only at the beginning of my coaching career, but that’s one of the plans I want for myself,” Pienaar told the Made in Africa podcast.
“You have to think big and for me the ultimate goal is to one day coach my national team and for me that would be everything I wish for. To play for the national team, to captain the national team and to one day be the coach. That will be something special.
“If God is with me and he’ll open that door for me and one day hopefully I’ll reach that goal,” he said.
Pienaar also commented on the current state of the national team and their progress under Coach Hugo Broos.
“It is disappointing if your country is not playing in the African Cup of Nations or qualifying for the World Cup. In the last couple of years there has been a few problems with managers coming in, the development of young players not going as planned.
“If you look at how many South African players are playing abroad, its not so many. There’s a few I can count on my hand. The desire to play in Europe is not there. The ones that are playing in Europe, they sometimes don’t get an opportunity to play in the national team.
“If you look back at the last year, a new manager came in, he wants to build a young team. He showed it in the qualification games for the World Cup with young players, ones who want to work and have the desire to represent the country. Unfortunately, he didn’t qualify for the World Cup through circumstances but I think he is building a young team that will be there for the next few years and there are some good talents coming through,” he continued.
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