Still in the game

By Drum Digital
21 October 2011

A big blue gate flanked by high yellow walls slides soundlessly aside to let us into the headquarters of one of South Africa’s biggest football teams. 

It’s a chilly Wednesday morning in Chloor-kop, the home of Mamelodi Sundowns, but retired goalkeeper Brian Baloyi gives us a warm welcome when we arrive to find out why he’s swopped the field, gloves and boots for an office and suit.

Brian, who was recently appointed commercial and marketing manager by the club he served for seven years as a player, apologises for the renovations at Sundowns and ushers us into a vacant office.

Added to the din of drills and jackhammers are Brian’s two cellphones that ring constantly, attesting to the newly-appointed manager’s busy schedule.

But the soft-spoken “senior citizen’’ of South African soccer takes it all in his stride as he fills us in on his new role and reflects on his illustrious football career spanning 20 years.

To start, Brian, whose flamboyant hairstyles made him stand out among his peers, tells us why he decided to hang up his gloves.

“I didn’t want to wait for the media to write me off before I decided to leave the game,” the 37-year-old explains.

“They say keepers can play until they’re 40 but I thought it was time for me to quit and find a way to give back to the game that gave so much to me."

Read all about Spiderman, as Brian was affectionately known, in DRUM, 27 October 2011.

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