Former Bafana Bafana wing launches book

2017-05-10 06:02
Derlon Buckley signs a book at the launch.

Derlon Buckley signs a book at the launch.

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FORMER Bafana Bafana and international footballer Derlon Buckley is offering solutions in a book titled­, Delron Buckley, My Life, about some of the problems he’s faced in his life. The book, penned by Durban author Myan Subrayan, was launched in Pietermaritzburg at the Midlands Academy of Sport last Thursday.

It gives insight into Buckley’s football journey, a path that saw Buckley, who grew up in Sydenham, Durban; leave South Africa as a 16-year-old to pursue a professional football career in Germany.

“Writing the book is my way of giving back. It is to tell my story, give people hope and to inspire them in their dreams. I was a boy that grew up with no father in a neighbourhood engulfed in drugs, alcohol and crime, but there was no excuse for me not to make it. I had a dream of being a footballer and focused on that dream,” said Buckley.

In the book he reveals some of the challenges he was faced with in Germany and how he overcame them.

“It was quite difficult at first because at the time Germany wasn’t a cosmopolitan country, they didn’t speak English at all so I had to communicate with my hands and feet. Everything was just mimicking because they couldn’t speak English. On the field, I couldn’t understand the coach but I knew exactly what was expected of me and I obliged.”

He said it was difficult for him as a youngster to make a name for himself in a foreign country.

“When you come as a foreigner into a team, there is hatred. You are not wanted; the players feel you have come to take someone else’s place. But the best place to win them over is on the pitch.”

Buckley said his hard work soon paid off. He played for Borussia Dortmund, while he has also represented the German side Mainz and Cypriot outfit Anorthosis Famagusta. He returned to South Africa in 2012 when he signed with Maritzburg United and also played for Bafana Bafana just over 70 times.

“I sunk into depression during my first season with Borussia; I was largely unsuccessful and failed to score in 28 league matches. The fans were booing me and killing myself seemed like the only way out. My wife and I had couldn’t even do our shopping but as my pace picked up I started receiving the love and regained my confidence.

Midlands Academy of Sport director Vincent Myeni said they were very happy to host the book launch.

“He is one of the few sportsmen that has well represented us when it comes to football. He was a disciplined player, we draw inspiration from such an athlete therefore when the opportunity to have him launch his book here, we grabbed it with both hands.”

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