Stuart Baxter coach of South Africa and the new assistant Quinton Fortune during the South Africa Afternoon Training on the 16 August 2017 at FNB Stadium.
JOHANNESBIURG - Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune has joined Stuart Baxter’s national team set-up as an assistant coach, ahead of the second leg of South Africa’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Zambia at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.
Although a contract has not been signed yet, Fortune is upbeat about Baxter’s request to assist Bafana and said he would like to see the South Africa senior national team back on top.
Fortune said: “Stuart spoke to me a couple of weeks ago and at first I was taken aback, so it was with a lot of excitement when he told me. I just couldn’t wait to get going, because it is something I have been dreaming about for years, as I know the potential we have in this country.
“I have said for years that when we do things the right way, we can achieve amazing things”
“This is my first day, so I need to find my baby steps and see how it goes but I am excited. My aim is to help make this national team successful – that’s the ultimate for me, I just want to see Bafana Bafana being a great success.”
The left-footed player has been in the United Kingdom for most of his playing career where he featured for, among others, Manchester United.
Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg (L) competes against Manchester United's Quinton Fortune (R) during the Premier League match at Highbury in London 25 November 2001. Credit: AFP
“It’s been amazing, I am still based in Manchester, United Kingdom and right now I am involved with Bafana Bafana, which is a great honour and a privilege. I still need to sit down with the Association (SAFA) and see where this goes, but at the moment I am excited to be part of the team.
“I want to help as much as I can, wherever I can. I am still a young coach, trying to learn the game,” added Fortune.
Fortune has already acquired his Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) A Licence and is now working towards the UEFA PRO Licence – the highest coaching certification available.
He was assistant coach of the Cardiff City Under-21 team, and more recently was in involved with the Manchester United Under-21 team. He said after his playing career ended in 2012, he decided to turn to coaching.
“I am so passionate about wanting to help but it’s still sinking in. A few years ago, I was in their position too, I was a player but the most important thing is that I give whatever I have learned, all the experience that I can bring to help the players improve, making sure we have a national team that qualifies for the AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations) and the World Cup,” concluded Fortune.
Fortune will not travel to Zambia, remaining behind to help coach Stuart Baxter monitor players during the weekend games.