Once were warriors

2010-05-30 11:03

Benni McCarthy has bemoaned the dearth of soccer talent in South

Africa.

The West Ham United striker said that had most of his former

team-mates at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games been on the straight and narrow,

they would be part of the World Cup squad.

McCarthy, Aaron Mokoena, Siyabonga Nomvethe and Matthew Booth are

the only surviving members of the Ephraim Shakes Mashaba-led team.

He said the likes of Patrick Mbuthu, Steve Lokoelea, Abram Nteo,

Jabu Mahlangu and Manqoba Mkhize were talented and should have been guided

properly.

“I had hoped that we would get far as a group and achieve fantastic

things in life together.

“These were a limited edition of our generation and were out of

this world. With their abilities they would have gone far if they had kept on

the straight and narrow.”

McCarthy said Mbuthu was the greatest midfielder of their

generation, adding that other players had more abilities “than some of

us”.

“It’s a shame that we don’t hear about them any more. Chances of

some of us going somewhere were slim as we were just footballers with little

talent but with them they had the talent and the ability to play anywhere.

“If they had the same discipline and dedication they would have

played at the highest level.

“It is really shocking to see myself here and they are not here and

I am really proud of myself as I was given something, not a lot, but made the

best of it.

“But I am still hungry for moresuccess.”

McCarthy was also full of praise for the current crop of players in

the national team, saying they had matured beyond his imagination and conceded

that even his position was under threat.

“They have stepped up their game and are impressive to the extent

that no one’s position is guaranteed.”

He said striker Katlego Mphela had come of age and deserved a

chance to play at a higher level.

McCarthy could not stop talking about Surprise Moriri’s

talent.

“Surprise is the player I like most because he brings something to

football.

“For a moment you’d think he is not there and he would surprise you

because his ability and thinking are out of this world.”

He also had a word about Nomvethe, saying his unpredictability made

him one of the best.

McCarthy, who could be playing in his third World Cup if he makes

it into the 23-man squad, said it would be a great achievement and a special

event for him, especially as he would be playing in his home country where

everything started.

“It is inspiring and it pushes you hard to want to be part of

history.

“Many great players have never had a chance to play a World Cup in

front of their home crowds, hence this one would be special.”

His advice to the young players who make the cut was to go out

there and enjoy it as the experience comes only once in a life-time for some.

McCarthy also had a message for the country’s detractors: “What

upsets me the most are the negative reports about South Africa, especially in

England.

“We are the best country in Africa and we are going to host one of

the best World Cups to remember.”

He added: “If you are scared of our country don’t come and don’t be

part of the world-beating experience.”

McCarthy is crossing his fingers that he will make the final 23 for

the World Cup team.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.