Since hanging up his boots in 2018, Pienaar – who was one of the most revered Bafana Bafana players – has stepped into the coaching world, working at youth level with his former club Ajax Amsterdam.
Attempts to secure his UEFA Pro license have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it hasn’t dimmed his ultimate ambitions.
“Obviously it’s a dream for every player or manager to coach your national team and that dream is still with me. I know I am only at the beginning of my coaching career, but that’s one of the plans I want for myself,” Pienaar told the Made in Africa podcast.
“You have to think big and for me the ultimate goal is to one day coach my national team and for me that would be everything I wish for. To play for the national team, to captain the national team and to one day be the coach. That will be something special.
“If God is with me and he’ll open that door for me and one day hopefully I’ll reach that goal,” he said.
Meanwhile, SAFA president Danny Jordaan has recently suggested Bafana boss Hugo Broos shouldn’t worry about his ‘job security’ ahead of the Afcon qualifiers.
The draw for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers was concluded in Johannesburg last month, with Bafana Bafana placed in Group K alongside Zimbabwe, Liberia and Morocco in what is sure to be a challenging group for them.
The Afcon finals will be hosted by Ivory Coast who lifted the converted trophy in 2015 under the tutelage of Herve Renard. Senegal will be the defending champions after defeating Egypt on penalties in the 2021 edition, while Bafana will be desperate to simply make a return to the tournament.
South Africa will be aiming to qualify for the continental showpiece after missing out on that event in Cameroon last year, with Bafana coach Hugo Broos having already stated that this is a non-negotiable goal for the team.
However, it’s interesting to note that Jordaan has suggested there is “no jeopardy” to Broos’ job if South Africa fails to make it to the Ivory Coast, which may well be an important message to reduce any unnecessary pressure at this point.
“No [there’s no jeopardy],” said Jordaan, as quoted by Sport24. “You can’t want to qualify and also say, ‘What if?’
“No, there are no what-ifs. We wish the team and the coach (Broos) all the best, and we are going to give him all the support. The ball is in his court.”
However, Broos has previously stated there can be no excuses for failing to qualify.
“The plan is, first, there will be no excuses; we have to qualify for Afcon 2023. No excuses. This will be my responsibility,” Broos stated.
“We are rebuilding a team. We came very close (to advancing to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers).
“One goal killed us (against Ghana). Now, for Afcon 2023, there will be no excuses. I don’t have any excuses anymore.
“We have to focus everything on getting to Afcon next year in June/July, taking place in Cote d’Ivoire. It is also important for the development and experience of the team.”
THE 2023 AFCON QUALIFIERS DRAW IN FULL, WITH BAFANA IN GROUP K
Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome
Group B: Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini, Burkina Faso
Group C: Namibia, Kenya, Burundi, Cameroon
Group D: Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea, Egypt
Group E: Angola, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Ghana
Group F: Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Algeria
Group G: The Gambia, Congo, South Sudan, Mali
Group H: Lesotho, Comoros, Zambia, Ivory Coast
Group I: Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan, DR Congo
Group J: Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Tunisia
Group K: Zimbabwe, Liberia, South Africa, Morocco
Group L: Mozambique, Rwanda, Benin, Senegal
HOW ARE THE TEAMS WERE SEEDED
Pot 1: Senegal (holders), Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Algeria, Mali, Ivory Coast (hosts), Burkina Faso, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pot 2: South Africa, Cape Verde, Guinea, Gabon, Benin, Uganda, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Kenya, Sierra Leone.
Pot 3: Namibia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Libya, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Angola, Comoros.
Pot 4: Tanzania, Central African Republic, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Liberia, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe.