Clive Barker is still the most decorated coach in the history of Bafana Bafana. He won the FACON with Bafana Bafana in 1996 and the record still stands as the national team has failed to emulate the class of 96 up to today. The old man has done a lot for South African football and deserves a respect. He should be roped in as one of the technical advisors in the current Bafana Bafana team along with other legends who played in the tournament.
Clive Barker also played football during his young ages. He played for Durban City and Durban United. He was a great player according to those who watched him play. He was talented and would have been part of the national team if the country was not banned by FIFA as per the controlling body’s rules of football.
After retiring from playing football, Clive went on to start coaching in amateur teams and got his first professional break with Amazulu where he coached for 2 years before being demoted and went back to coach the 2 amateur teams. He then came back again and cached Durban City the team he played for. He coached for 2 years.
After leaving Durban City, he then coached Durban Bush Bucks for a year before making a U-turn to Amazulu where he spent 4 years with the side. While coaching Amazulu he was approached to coach Bafana Bafana by SAFA which he agreed in 1994. He spent 3 years with Bafana Bafana. That is the period where he won the AFCON in 1996.
After his successful stint with Bafana Bafana he went back to Amazulu and coached them for 2years before being recruited by Cape Town Santos. The other teams he coached in South Africa includes Manning Rangers, Maritzburg United, Thanda Royal Zulu, and Bidvest Wits. He retired after spending 42 years as a coach.
There is no doubt that Clive did well for the development of South African football. Clive was linked with possibilities of coaching top teams like Chiefs in South Africa. They then opted for foreign coaches during the time and that is the reason that was hindering the possibility of coaching one of the best teams in the country.
The games that Clive will never forget are the mage between South Africa and Brazil where South Africa lost the game by 3 goals to 2 after leading the first half by 2 goals to 0. In the second half Brazil came back with fire as they were unstoppable and that forced Clive to make substitutions which killed the game for South Africa’s hope of beating Brazil.
The other match he will never forget was against Congo were Philemon Masinga scored the goal that took South Africa to their first world cup which was hosted by France in 1998. Bafana Bafana were knocked out of the competition on the group stages and Clive was no longer the coach. Clement Westerhof was the coach for Bafana Bafana and he was French.
Clive barker still remains the best coach ever for Bafana Bafana and his contribution to the development of South African football is therefore all to see.