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Owen da Gama rules himself out of ever applying for Bafana job

The Bafana Bafana head coach job may be a lucrative one, but it’s not a post many are queuing up for, not the very least Highlands Park mentor, Owen da Gama.

The post was recently vacant, before the appointment of former national Under-17 coach Molefi Ntseki, who had served as his predecessor, Stuart Baxter’s assistant.

Ntseki had, prior to assisting the Brit, served in a similar role with Shakes Mashaba at the helm, and had a brief spell with da Gama, who was called upon on an interim basis, following the former Witbank Spurs coach’s sacking.

Owen da Gama not keen on Bafana job

Da Gama, who has built a force to be reckoned with with the Lions of the North, is one of a few names that were brought up while the job was still up for grabs.

However, the 58-year-old says he has never made himself available for the post.

“Look, I never raised my hand to be honest with you,” Da Gama told KickOff.

“I said if I’m called upon… I’ve never applied for a soccer job in my life. Even this Highlands one, never.

“So I wouldn’t apply. Let’s say for some reason or other somebody was not available and they asked me to step in, I would have done it. This is my country.” 

The unwanted hot seat

Other local coaches who were tipped to take over from Baxter include Pitso Mosimane of Mamelodi Sundowns, as well as his Bidvest Wits counterpart Gavin Hunt.

The two men were, at some point, each quizzed about the possibility of heading up the senior national team – both indicating that they would not take up the job.

Da Gama, however, says his PSL rival – each with a record four league titles – are more suited for the role than he is.

“But in saying that I had already recommended a lot of coaches before me. I think Gavin Hunt has achieved more than me, Pitso [Mosimane] has achieved more than me. You know there are coaches that have really done very well.

“So I never want to be… my time will come you know, if I’m good enough. But for now I’m very happy for Ntseki, and I’m just happy it’s a South African. That’s all I’ve been praying for.”

Owen da Gama

Owen da Gama is back in action on Tuesday, Highlands Park take on Polokwane City in their home leg of the MTN8 semifinal.

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