A few days after stepping down from his role as Bafana Bafana coach, 65 year old English man Stuart William Baxter has finally opened up on the reasons behind is unexpected decision.
With just two years in charge from an initial five-year contract, Baxter’s decision came as a shock, especially given South Africa’s unexpected run to the quarterfinals of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt with that shock elimination of the hosts at the round of 16.
After his resignation, claiming it was his personal decision and that he had chosen not to point fingers, Baxter has finally made public the reason behind his departure.
“When I took the job [for the first time in 2004], from day one people were questioning and wanting to be confrontational, so this time people knew me because I’ve won everything you can win in this country at club level,” Baxter said.
“But even then, from some people there was no level of patience. It was on the front [pages] that I was the national coach; ‘why wasn’t this guy or that guy the coach?’
“So, even from then, it doesn’t develop into head-butting, it grows from head-butting to throwing hand-grenades. So I am not sure we were all on the same page, because even when I started it was, ‘Let’s destabilize; let’s throw a hand grenade in there.’
“And I’m at the point where I think, there’s that and do really believe that because of the implementation, will we get where want to?
“I don’t think I am the right person to do that, because I don’t think that is the [sort of baggage one should be carrying]. I think you need someone that has got a clean bill of health, so to say, and can just be optimistic and positive and do the proper work,” he added.
The Wolverhampton born coach who has a record of 14 wins, 6 draws and 10 losses in 30 games in this second spell in charge of Bafana Bafana made it clear that his decision to resign was well thought out over weeks since returning from Egypt, and these factors simply pushed the final button.
The South African Football Association has appointed 50 year old current South African U-17 coach Molefi Ntseki as Baxter’s interim successor.