For the past three weeks, we have been entertained by some of the top African stars in the soccer sphere, currently taking part in CAF Africa Cup of Nations. I love every minute of it as we mostly see these players plying their skilful trade abroad.Bayalitshwara! Some of these players have not only play for overseas clubs; they are right here in Mzantsi, and it is heartwarming to know that our clubs are not bringing in lowly rated players. But I have some questions in my mind.This says a lot about our brand of soccer.We have one of the most exciting and rich league setup in the whole of the African continent. The standard of our soccer though, is something not all of us are proud about.How many times in recent years have we watched this African spectacular without our “banana banana” squad. Is it complacency or just a pure lack of pride in our players, coaches and administrators? This has gone on for far too long and something needs to be done as we cannot plough so much money into a league system and yet we fail to qualify for anything. Maybe we should dissolve it and start afresh. Or we should pay the players less so that they become hungrier and that way they will play to earn their living. It is like a joke. Looking deeper now into our own soccer team and comparing it to the old days. Back then we used to have good quality and high calibre soccer players. On the field of play you could feel that you are watching skilled, dedicated and talented players at their best. Almost every player had a nickname which, whenever the player was about to hold a ball or come onto the field of play, the whole stadium would resonate into shouts of that nickname. Eish! even the surnames of some of these players are a mismatch to the clubs they play for. There were surnames and names that were linked to specific clubs. These days even as a player is about to hold a ball, cwaka no noise. A player about to come on as a substitute is seldom egged on with a noise, as we do not seem to recognise them.A player comes on TV, and we ask each other about their identity.These and many more questions still come up. We need to bring back the flair in our soccer. Players need to earn their names. Scouts must go locally and unearth the talent. Where have the names like Shoooooz, Aaaaaace, Who’s fooling who, Tshisa mateki and many more gone to.These monikers are now found in shebeens instead of on the field of play.