Talking football

2015-05-21 06:00

KWAZULU-NATAL, the biggest province in South Africa, has seen another premiership club relegated.

It is now history that AmaZulu Football Club will be campaigning in the national first division. It would have been sad if this club had 80% of its players coming from this province. This would have meant that many families in our province would lose their livelihoods. The reality is that the opposite is happening.

Football and sport in general is a profession in this era. Why is it difficult for football in this province to develop and retain its best talent?

I find it difficult to comprehend why local and professional clubs recruit talent from Lesotho, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, etc. If we claim to be better resourced than these countries, why then are we not producing results.

I think KZN parents should change their attitude towards education. They can learn a lot from their Zimbabwean counterparts. It is not accidental that Zimbabwean footballers are doing better than local boys in the PSL. Zimbabwean parents understand the value of good education. They are prepared to invest the little they have in the future of their children. The opposite is true of South Africans - we are obsessed with materialistic things.

Parents wear designer clothes and drive big cars while their children lack basic educational and sporting requirements. There are no football associations and clubs that can fund the training of children in their locality. Football has the capacity to provide employment to many of our young boys and girls. It is critical that people support their children to create opportunities for their future sporting vocations.

Let us hope clubs learn an important lesson from relegation - relying on buying outside talent is short-lived. Football associations in this province can also help develop talent through putting players first. Currently, our programmes are not geared towards helping players and a lot of talent is being overlooked by poorly structured programmes.

Unzima lomthwalo

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