Should Stuart Baxter not return to coach in the Premier Soccer League, the Englishman reckons he played “an active role” in attempting to help grow the game here.

Baxter parted company with Kaizer Chiefs last month, seeing a second stint at Naturena come to an abrupt end in just 10 months.

He told SABC Sport that he felt the Glamour Boys could have achieved a Top 2 finish had he been able to carry on until the end of the season at the very least.

In an exclusive interview, the 68-year-old former SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana mentor discussed his public spats with Hugo Broos, the current national team coach, in the media while he was Amakhosi boss.

“No, I’ve never spoken to the man. I have read his comments and I think some of them are relevant and some of them are the frustrations of a coach working outside of his home country,” explained Baxter.

“I’ve had that and I don’t think you can take every sentence that every coach says…I was going to say seriously. But sometimes you take it and it’s a bit out of context and it sounds quite irrational. Hugo is a serious coach, trying to do a serious job in South Africa and I think he reacts to things that he doesn’t experience as being as serious as him.”

Baxter first came to SA in 2004, an unknown in these parts, but with quite an extensive CV that included coaching his native country’s U19 side.

He worked with Wayne Rooney, who went on to be a prolific striker for Manchester United and the England national side.

Asked what he thought of the level of coaching here over the years, Baxter said there were still some missing elements.

“I have to say that I think the level of the coaches has improved. I think the level of awareness has improved. I am not sure that we’ve found a South African way yet…I think lots of the coaches are working really hard to try and develop that,” he said.

“I was trying to play my part in that, add to the debate about what makes a successful South African team. I have been the national team coach, so I think I got quite a good handle on what works and what doesn’t work internationally. I think your own journey, trying to keep a handle on saying we are in this job to win games of football, enjoy yourself and make money for your club. That’s what my father said to me as a coach. That is the sort of thing I was trying to play an active role in, the bigger development in South Africa.”

By Mazola Molefe

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