Experienced coach Raymond Verheijen has insisted that South African players shouldn’t be looked down upon because of their physique and that the brain is the most important part of a footballer’s body.
The 40-year-old coach, who has spent time at the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, has worked with young South African players during his career and thinks that the size of them is not a problem.
Verheijen told the Siya crew, “I’ve worked with a few South African players over the years, I worked with Kermit (Erasmus) during my time with Feyenoord, and also with Kamohelo (Mokotjo). Mokotjo is a very good player, he needs a bit of luck to get into the team because they have other players in his position, but they just sold Karim (El Ahmadi) to Aston Villa so he may get a chance now.
“People talk of the size and physique of South African players, but I don’t think that this is a problem. If you look at teams like Spain, you see that physique is not the decisive factor in their game. It’s all about decision making, making the right action at the right moment.
“You only need physique if you’re using it to compensate for the fact that you’re not as good as players like Messi. So, you can do two things. You can scout bigger players to compensate for their lack of ability, or you can scout better players and let them play. I’d do the latter.”
The ex-Russia and South Korea coach is in South Africa for the launch of the World Football Academy, a football-coaching course set up by himself and former Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach, Guus Hiddink. By Sbue