Shooting the Breeze

2018-06-27 06:02

RECENTLY, I was very impressed by the number of current PSL players, and retired ones, that attended an event to honour the late Bafana Bafana captain and Orlando Pirates uMlazi born goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa.

Although the games to honour Meyiwa were held in his hometown, at uMlazi’s King Zwelithini Stadium, I would like to take my hat off to the players, officials and soccer lovers that attended the event.

I was very touched to see participants (ex-PSL players) and ordinary soccer followers from as far as Newcastle, Ladysmith, Estcourt, Mooi River, Howick, Pietermaritzburg, Hammarsdale, Durban and Johannesburg (just to name a few) flocking to pay respect to Meyiwa by honouring him with these games.

I would also like to say well done to the founder and organiser of Senzo Meyiwa’s Memorial Games Ntokozo “Koloba”Skhakhane (former Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu player).

After these games, I emotionally turned my focus to my City, Pietermaritzburg, trying to think of, or to count, how many retired professional or late players there were from the nearby townships?

I remembered players from the Greater Pietermaritzburg and other nearby players who did not only ply their trade with KwaZulu- Natal teams, but went on to play for PSL Gauteng giants such as Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows, SuperSport United, BidVest Wits and other outfits around the country.

I also noted that the majority of players produced by the City of Choice were mostly quality because were regulars of the senior National team.

A lot of you will remember that, in Imbali, we had S’nothi Mthalane who played for Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu.

In Sobantu we had S’bonelo “Teenage”Dladla, who played for SA U23 and for Lamontville Golden Arrows, the star veteran Michael “Bizzah’’ Dlamini (Kaizer Chiefs and SA Black X1), and Bomber “Mata”Chamane.

All these names bring fond memories to us but, what are we doing to honour them?

Are we trying to say our local coaches, club owners, administrators, local football associations, regional and provincial bodies have become so short sighted, or may be just don’t care when our stars are dead.

On my final note, let me say well done and salute Edendale FA, especially Tom “London” Ngcobo, for recently honouring their late Wadley Stadium groundsman Baba Ndima with a tournament.

I wish other LFA’s and especially club owners can learn one or two things from Edendale FA.

It’s unfortunate that soccer clubs, especially the owners and coaches, only love their players when are alive or scoring goals for them, but when they are late, all are forgotten.

I am very glad that EFA were the first ones to set this good example, and please let us all take them as official trend setters in local soccer.

Let’s just wait and see if areas such as Sobantu will be able to honour their late stars such as Dlamini, Chamane and Dladla.

Imbali residents don’t have any excuse of not paying respect to the late S’nothi Mthalane.

Let me also see if Siyamu and Caluza will raise their hands, be counted and honour the late midfield wizard Rooi Mlaba.

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