Former Zebras Captain and Polokwane City goalkeeper Modiri Marumo says for local players to stay relevant in the ABSA premiership they have be wary of lifestyle choices and remain committed.
The South African football market (ABSA premiership) seems to be the highest level that our football usually export to, but of late local exports have not be impressing there. Last month saw three of local players plying their trade in the South African top flight parting ways with their respective teams. This is after Mpho Kgaswane was released by Baroka FC with Kabelo Seakanyeng and Thatayaone Kgamanyane being off loaded by Chippa United with less than a season at the team.
Of the players now remaining in the league, Lesenya Ramoraka of Highlands Park is the only player who enjoys most starts with his team, with Onkabetse Makgantai of Baroka FC usually coming in as a substitute and Kabelo Dambe who plays for Bloemfontein Celtics is usually an unused substitute at most times.
Mogakolodi Ngele is on the other hand experiencing a frustrating stay with Mamelodi Sundowns as he is reported to be training on his own because he is not in the coach’s plans. It is yet to been seen how the duo of Simisane Mathumo (Free State Stars) and Mwampole Masule (Chippa United) will fare in the ABSA premiership as they joined their teams recently.
Quizzed on what is required of local players to survive the ABSA premiership, Marumo stated that they need to be committed and be wary of their lifestyles. “During our time we got advices from our elders in football and senior players something which helped to stay pertinent at the league for a long time,” he said. “But nowadays it’s rare to see players coming to us seek advices, I think it only takes determined players to do that.”
He said whilst playing at the South African top flight, local players need to know how to take care of themselves, “being a sports person is the same as the that person who has gave his or her life to God, they have to give their life to football and respect it because if they do not it will as well won’t give them respect.”
Marumo joins a handful number of local players who survived and impressed in the ABSA premiership. He spent five seasons with Polokwane City as a goalkeeper and three seasons as a goalkeeper coach.