Director of Football at Grey College and former SuperSport United captain Ricardo Katza strongly believes that South Africa can compete on the same level as European countries provided development football in the country is taken seriously.
Katza is of the opinion that coaches in South Africa prefer players who are already developed which is detrimental to the progress and growth of football in the country.
“2010 come and 2010 left, there’s 2022 now and I think we are six, seven, eight or 10 years behind, If I look at other countries, Europeans and I know sometimes we say we can’t compete with Europeans, we can compete because we have the facilities, Katza told the SA Football Journalists’ Association (SAFJA).
“I think it is just that the difference between us and European football is that in European they take care of the football and the football brings the business but here we want to take care of the business and we expect the business to bring the football, is not going to work like that,” added Katza.
Katza is no stranger to development football as he was part of the ‘Matsatsantsa’ development structures for six years before taking up the role of the Director of football at one of the most prestigious schools in South Africa, Grey in 2018.
“I don’t think that we are that serious about our development, what we want is we want kids that when they are 18 and years old they already developed but we don’t take the time to see where these kids are coming from, we don’t take the time to see where does the development actually come from,” he said.
“Now that I have been at school level and I see that we don’t take our development seriously, yes at club level is a little bit easier because you get the boys at 13 years old and you can develop them but at school and level of amateur, there’s no development, to be honest. Coaches are not qualified, coaches don’t know what they are doing, there are no facilities.
“I remember last year for the winter games, I took the under 15 team to Durban and two weeks before the tournament, two weeks before we left, there are trials for the under 15s, we arrived at 8:00 and we only started at 11:00 that morning with the trials, there was one ball and the other ball was flat, there were no nets on the goalposts, the fields were not proper.
“And I said to myself I have to go coach a team that is going to represent Free State at Under 15 level and we can’t even have proper trials,” concluded the former Bafana Bafana defender.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi