Safa confirms Stuart Baxter as Bafana Bafana’s new coach

The SA Football Association (Safa) has officially announced the appointment of SuperSport United coach Stuart Baxter to replace Shakes Mashaba as coach of the national soccer team

In a statement issued on Thursday, Safa confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Baxter and that he would be officially unveiled as Bafana Bafana head coach once its president, Danny Jordaan, returns to the country from Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Fifa commitments.

Meanwhile, Baxter will continue in his role at SuperSport for the remaining four Absa Premiership fixtures as well as for the Nedbank Cup and Confederations Cup.

SuperSport United CEO Stanley Matthews said that while Baxter’s new appointment was a loss for the team, he wished the new coach well for his second term at Bafana Bafana.

READ MORE: Stuart Baxter tipped for Bafana Bafana top post

“We obviously did not want to lose Stuart as our coach. He’s done a great job in getting us to the competitive level we expect as a club. However, we also understand that Stuart would like to have a final go at competing at a Fifa World Cup, and that would be a fantastic achievement for the country as a whole,” said Matthews.

“But right now our focus, and that of Stuart’s, has to be on a strong finish to the league, becoming the first club to retain the Nedbank Cup and to fight our way through the group stages of the CAF Cup. So we’re glad this matter is now settled and we can all focus on the job at hand which is meeting our football targets for this season and planning ahead for next season.”

Safa CEO Dennis Mumble said the body was pleased to have eventually finalised the search for the country’s next head coach after more than four months.

Mumble said that Baxter has “the necessary skills to navigate the tough qualification path for the Africa Cup of Nations and the Fifa World Cup”.

READ MORE: Igesund out, Baxter in at SuperSport United

“We thank SuperSport United for their support towards the goals of the association and its national teams,” he said.

Baxter joined SuperSport United in January last year and led Matsatsantsa to a top-eight finish.

Under him, the team also won the Nedbank Cup, with a victory over Orlando Pirates in May 2016. And this season, SuperSport United reached the Telkom Cup Final and will face Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup semi-final on 20 May.