Although Stuart Baxter had already been chosen as the Bafana Bafana Coach, his official unveiling only took place on 15 May 2017 at the SAFA House, where he holds a 5 year contract with the South African team. He will hold the responsibility of managing the team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Out of a range of applicants, SAFA scaled the candidates down to only three: Hugo Broos, Stuart Baxter and Hevre Renard, whereupon Baxter was chosen. As the national coach for the second time, Baxter remains positive about his capabilities in his newly-appointed position. He however mentions that he cannot perform this task alone. According to sport24, Baxter wants the support of South Africans, regardless of their constant criticism.
“While I know that this position goes with a lot of criticism, I also believe that if we work together as a country and take out all the negativity we can get somewhere.”
“So my appeal is, with your support this national team can be great again - criticise if you must, but support is crucial” says Baxter.
SAFA President Danny Jordaan expressed his support and certainty of his decision by saying “We are confident we have made the right choice and with [Baxter] at helm, we will qualify for both the World Cup in 2018 and the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019”.
As the Africa Cup of Nations draws near, Stuart Baxter’s first task will be to prepare Bafana for their qualifying match against Nigeria next month. Baxter concludes by saying “This is not an easy task I am going into, but I have confidence that we will overcome.”