Bafana Bafana goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia is set to celebrate his 132nd game with the senior national team tonight, when South Africa host Norway at the Cape Town Stadium.
The 57-year-old Argentinean, who is also one of only eight Fifa accredited goalkeeping coaches worldwide, is proud of what he’s achieved since arriving in South Africa as a player, in 1983.
“I’ve worked under so many Bafana Bafana coaches,” said Heredia. “Men like Trott Moloto, Carlos Queiroz, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba, Stuart Baxter, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Kenneth ‘Conti’ Kubheka for a while, and the late April ‘Styles’ Phuma.
“Some of the earliest goalkeepers I trained were Andre Arendse and John Tlale but at the moment Itumeleng Khune is one of the best. He’s very motivated, looking good and his team, Kaizer Chiefs, is top of the log, although there’s nothing wrong with the other two, Wayne Sandilands and Senzo Meyiwa.
He added, “It’s the first time Senzo is in the Bafana squad and he’s a very good cover for both of them.”
Heredia has also coached all of SAFA’s junior teams (both men and women), having been employed by the FA for almost sixteen years.
However, he admits clashing with Brazilian Joel Santana, while he was at the helm. “We had lots of arguments. He was the one who pushed me out,” he quipped.