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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 09:31 GMT
South Africa appoint Baxter
Stuart Baxter
Baxter has been given a two-year deal
Britain's Stuart Baxter has been named the new manager of the South African national team.

Baxter, a former England Under-19 coach, has signed a two-year deal with the Bafana Bafana that will take him up to the 2006 World Cup.

The 50-year-old has worked as a coach in England, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Portugal and will start on 1 April.

Baxter replaces April 'Styles' Phumo who was in charge for their disastrous African Nations Cup campaign.

Baxter is a surprising choice for the job, but Veli Mahlangu of the South African Football Association (Safa) remains confident they have chosen the right man.

"We're satisfied with our choice for the job. He has impeccable references and impressed us very much when we met with him," said Mahlangu.

We're satisfied with our choice for the job
Veli Mahlangu
Safa official
Born in England but brought up in Scotland, as a player Baxter had spells with Preston North End, Stockport County and Dundee.

His coaching career includes time in Japan's J-League and winning the league and cup double with AIK Solna in the Swedish Premier League.

Prior to his appointment, South Africa have had 10 national coaches in just over a decade of international competition, all but two of them locals.

In January, they fired the outspoken Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba on the eve of the team's departure for the African Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

He was replaced by his assistant Phumo but Bafana Bafana's campaign in Tunisia was nothing short of disastrous.

South Africa did not make it past the first round - the first time in five successive Nations Cup tournaments that they had not reached the quarter-final stage.




SEE ALSO
Safa act to lure stars back
27 Feb 04  |  African
'Shakes' lands new role
18 Feb 04  |  African
Mashaba bows down
21 Jan 04  |  African



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