Monday, 1 July 2013

VIDEO AND ANALYSIS: Baxter to the future: Double-winning Stuart outlines his plans for Kaizer Chiefs. Bring on Naturena Junior!

KAIZER CHIEFS coach Stuart Baxter arrived back in South Africa this week insisting: “We will put as much effort in to our youth development as we do in to winning trophies.”

The double-winning coach from Britain will not be resting on his laurels after finally ending the AmaKhosi title drought – and “Baxter to the Future” will begin with a revamped academy, complete with new buildings at Naturena, dieticians, psychologists, education and Chiefs DVD’s sent to youth coaches around the country.

Baxter, the first foreign coach to win South Africa’s Premier Soccer League at his first attempt, said: “The catalyst for it was a conversation with the club's founder, Kaizer Motaung. He wants to give something back to the youth of South Africa.

“I gave him an outline for our new academy and we’ve pushed on. I can’t tell you everything right now but we’re co-operating with the university and we’re going to get the educational aspect right through them. We will look at diet, psychology and education, believe me.”

With one eye on the great academies at Ajax Amsterdam, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Baxter said: “It has to happen. As the club owner, Kaizer thinks all these things are important for young footballers hoping to turn professional. We want a good footballer playing Kaizer Chiefs way, and we want a good person, a well-rounded South African, to leave here if he doesn’t.

“It’s taking a lot of time, while we’re also trying to win leagues and cups. But we’re working hard on it.

“We are putting together a CD. We want to put it out to all the coaches. Our own internal coaching network, delivering the right stuff to their age-group. The DVD will go to the players too, you can click on your position and see how we want them to play with videos and ideas.

“We want uniformity. We want to co-operate with the regional associations. We want appropriate training and to help life skills.”

Talking on Bollockz, my new show every Thursday on, Baxter joked: “We won’t be selling “Pirate” DVDs at the traffic lights! There are no secrets in football. Everybody knows what they’re going to get when they play Manchester United or Barcelona.

“We want out forwards to make a certain kind of run, we must get on with it. We do things that people have known about all year and we got decent results with it!  There are some things we keep to ourselves but it’s not all cloak-and-dagger.

“We have to take collective responsibility for youth football. We can’t blame the national coach – Gordon Igesund – for losing with Bafana. Gordon can support it all but he shouldn’t be the scapegoat for not having good youth development behind him.

“I did an interview for a British newspaper yesterday and they asked about development in Africa. You get one great team from Senegal or Nigeria – South Africa had a great team too in the 90s – but they disappear.

“The first African country that puts down these foundations, these opportunities, will become a powerhouse. But we are still squabbling about who should do what.

“We’ve got to get together and get this done. In ten years, we can’t be saying: “Why did we not beat Ethiopia. Why did we hit the post? It’s about development. We must discuss it openly.

“It’s all this protectionism. It’s taking us nowhere. In that environment you don’t learn. We need a collective way of playing football. There is a South African way. We just have to explain it. They do it in Sweden, Germany, Argentina… all the countries that have good youth development.

“You can’t fragment it, like in England. They don’t let people in to their training facilities. They don’t co-operate.

“You never know, you might have a logo you can click on to hear me singing on the DVD, I’m not sure!”

On the growing demand for transfer news at Naturena, Baxter said: “When I left there was speculation we would lose a couple of players.

“I’m back this week, we’ll have a chat. Look at the buttons we need to check. We need a couple of signings to strengthen us. We’re not about to let people go.

“Put it this way, I don’t see a lot of traffic. I see a couple in. One or possibly two out. Not a lot more.

“We’ll put as much effort into youth as we do into the seniors. Rest assured.”

This story appears as my column in tomorrow. Ready my "Neal & Pray" column every Tuesday and follow me on

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