Baxter explains why he needs Fish for Bafana

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter believes unqualified Mark Fish could be a good recruit as an assistant for the Africa Cup of Nations as it would ensure no professional animosity in the camp.
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Baxter announced on Thursday that he was considering Fish for the second assistant role as he was looking for someone to scout the opposition at the AFCON in Egypt.

With Quinton Fortune being ruled out, it appears the 1996 AFCON winner with Bafana is the favourite to land the role despite holding no coaching qualifications or experience.

Baxter explained his thinking in great detail about why he is considering the 45-year-old, telling reporters: "Mark's not a coach, but he's a very experienced football person, and if he can understand what I'm looking for... Because, when I send anybody to monitor a team for me, they're only looking at maybe five things.

"I don't want to know how the left-back laces his boots. What we need to know is how do they attack on transition? How do they attack when we're compact, and they've got to break us down, what's their preference?

"How do they defend on transition and how do they defend when we have the ball with our goalkeeper, and they have to get their team organised? The speed of their transition, give me a mark out of 10?

"I just need to know that, and the set plays we can analyse on a DVD, but when you're there and you look at that, tell me how do they do it? Now, I think Mark is more than capable.

"I think having a coach [do that], he would be overqualified. If I take the best scout, Barcelona's scout, for example, I'm guessing he couldn't coach Barcelona, honestly.

"So, we don't want to over-qualify [the position], and the other thing is I don't want to have to go to a coach and say, 'Listen, will you go scout for me?' Personally, I would find that a little embarrassing, and the coach would probably go, 'Let me see, Go stuff yourself!'

"If I went to Rhulani (Mokwena) and [asked him to do that job], you know, I'm sure he wouldn't say it straight out, but he'd stand and think to himself, 'Hey, I've done enough to warrant not needing to go and scout for you now, mate.'

"If Mark knows what we want, I think he can do it, and at the same time I think there would be a little bit of friction [in the camp] if we got an overqualified person."

The national team are in a tough Group D alongside Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia. Bafana's opening game is against the Ivorians on 24 June at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.

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