Introduce yourself in a few sentences
My name is Ryan Wallace. I am a sport blogger based in Cape Town, South Africa. I enjoy most sports, especially Cricket, Hockey and Football and to pay the bills, I work in Online Marketing.
How many contributors are there at The Pundits?
At the moment, we have two full-time contributors, myself and Keegan Kruger. We do however, accept guest posts from time to time, from a big group of contributors.
What makes The Pundits different from other blogs?
We are one of the very few online publications in South Africa who cover field Hockey, as this is a sport that we are very passionate about, but it does not always receive much coverage from big media houses.
We also believe in only sticking to sport content – many sport blogs will add posts with beautiful women in skimpy clothes, to bring what I call “cheap views” to their websites. We believe in creating authentic content instead.
What do you think about the current state of the Springboks?
How much time do you have?
The current situation is caused by fixing surface cracks within the South African Rugby Union, without bothering to fix the root of the problem.
An overhaul of the Rugby philosophy is needed and this starts at school level before it can filter through to the top – naturally, a long-term plan is needed, but the powers that be are not willing or able to implement it.
Do you think the days of the Springboks being amongst the world’s best are over?
I think for the foreseeable future, it might be. But sport ebbs and flows and nobody stays at the top forever. “Smaller” countries are becoming better at the game and the “bigger” nations will no doubt struggle. (With “smaller” and “bigger”, I am not referring to population but to the popularity of Rugby within a country.) Having said that, South Africans are a nation of fighters and with Rugby being so important to our country, we will without a doubt find our way back to the top.
Moving on to football do you think Bafana Bafana will make it to the 2018 World Cup?
Bafana is another sensitive topic – the talent is there but the administration is not. The future of the coaching staff hangs in the balance and what happens next is anyone’s guess.
I do believe we have the talent to qualify, but I have learnt not to get my hopes up with Bafana – it’s better to be surprised by success than always being disappointed.
What do you think about the current fiasco surrounding coach Shakes Mashaba?
As is usual with the South African Football Association, Shakes has become a scapegoat for SAFA’s failings as an organization to bring sustainable success to the national team.
Shakes is a good motivator but lacks the tactical knowledge to grow the team for the future. I don’t think he’s the right man for the job but I also think he is being treated unfairly due to inside politics within SAFA.
Who do you think will take over as coach if he is fired?
Again, this is anyone’s guess. Not many coaches in South Africa have the tactical know-how to mold the team into world beaters, and not many international coaches have the know-how to deal with the local players, the lack of their development in certain areas and the culture differences.
With football, the development is an even bigger issue than rugby which means that any coach is going to struggle with the team.
What I would like to see, is a task team of local and international coaches and trainers who can work together to bring a diverse group of players together. We also need someone who has SAFA’s backing to implement the correct developmental structures to unearth and grow talent.
Without a long-term plan for player development, no coach will do particularly well with Bafana.
P.S. This all sounds so very negative – at least our Cricket team has been doing well against them pesky Ausies lately 😉
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