TFF: Quality key issue in evaluating 50 applicants

Officials of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) are now going into high gear in the wide ranging exercise to select a successor to Marcio Maximo at the head of the Taifa Stars bench. Reports say about 50 applicants have sent in letters to express interest in the job, including a few locals – with at least a note being made that a local ‘super coach’ isn’t one of the applicants. That serves to give an indication on the quality of applicants.

With the most well known name in local coaching – by some estimates at any rate – out of the running, a lot of the ‘pressure’ in the minds of pundits and other interested parties drops like a stone. Interest now goes out to see whom among the listed applicants has a record that one can envy, but as the names haven’t been released, nothing can be said in that direction. The only problem is the psychological frame of mind in such application.

There is a difference between applying for a job and getting it, and being asked to take up a job, or to put it differently, being recruited. The latter has faith attached to it, where a bond is actually constituted between the recruiting authority (the country, or TFF for that matter) and whomever they would have chosen. As the failure of the ‘super coach’ to put in an application despite being a highly rated choice for the job illustrates the difference.

A coach or any other expert who is sure that he or she is the right person for the job – and that the relevant appointing authority should be aware of that – is unlikely to put in an application. At the local level it is possible for instance to point out at one or two coaches whose abilities are well known and who didn’t consider it relevant to apply, while it also applies to any who put in applications. It means that ‘applicants’ are always second best.

Psychologically, a person puts in an application for a job because he or she is unlikely to be the first choice for the job, or more substantially, is unknown among those who will be thinking about the matter.

A person who believes that he stands a good chance of being selected won’t put in an application unless requested to do so – which prima facie means it is a preliminary act of selection. That way he may put in one with confidence of results.

When no such confidence has been cultivated in the first place, placing an application in private confidence that hasn’t been reciprocated among appointing authorities could put one in line for public embarrassment.

‘One among failing applicants was so and so,’ the stories would gleefully report the person’s failure, while wisdom instructs that he should have known he wasn’t being considered. If one is special and is well known, he stays put.

Thus there is plenty of reason to believe that the sending of application without being formally requested shows one’s own estimate of his market quality, and it is from this pool that TFF will be picking from.

Since it is TFF which chose this method, and it is as surely as anyone else aware of the difference between recruiting someone and waiting for applications, it is because this method suits them.

It means that they are only ready to check applications and select Maximo’s successor; they weren’t ready to do much more. That surely isn’t the best of assurances that the next Taifa Stars coach is a ‘super coach.’


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