People have been complaining about lack of quality players and development in the country. Well I am not an expert but maybe my personal experience might enlighten all as to where things went wrong.
I am from a rural village in the North West called Fafung. As a young boy growing up there, one did not have much choice when it came to sports. Football was the order of the day. Every male species were expected to play football in the village, and yes, we all did. There were three divisions. The juniors where all the under fifteens would play, then the lucky ones would be promoted to the senior teams C's and B's. Then the selected few would then be deployed to the senior teams.
That was at a rural village, where every youngster would love to down the senior team jersey. That’s all we played for. Let me mention that I did not make it far through the ranks, but I tried my best in football. There were simply too many quality players that were there, so it made it difficult for some of Bobby Motaung's "Quality players" to make it to even the second level of the game. That is why soccer was at its best during those years in this country.
There were 4 senior teams in Fafung, namely Mogosane FC, Black Birds FC, All Stars FC and The Reds FC. When there was what we used to call a Top 4, where all the 4 teams played each other on a single day (Like the Charity games), everyone would go to the ground, and I mean everyone. Homes would be deserted by the young, old and even the very old. The village would come to a stand still.
I remember player like the late Shando "Chillies" Leso, Pieces Motswaledi Plele Blski Sello and many more. Those were the days My Broer. These were players who would walk into any PSL team today and own the places on the starting eleven. Well I can see most of you laughing and saying, "Now what is Baile talking about?”
This is what I mean by these players being some of the best. There were no scouts who would come to the village. Its only when they went to the cities to seek work that they were exposed to these scouts. I mean I had the luxury of watching all the good passes of Shakes Kungoane at home, before He went to Alexandria. So that’s what I mean about the quality players, even Jethro Mohlala although He was in the neighbouring village of Klipvoorstad.
Those are the few that made it to Professional ranks and I tell you, they can tell you of a lot who were better than them. Well I went home recently. Football is dead. The football grounds are growing trees. The young guys are hitting the bottle big time. The taverns are making a lot of money. Crime is at its peak. The Pass rate is at its all time low - Its heart breaking.
I tell you this is the story of most Villages, Townships and all the places that used to produce all the quality players. All you hear is people talking about the past football stars of their time. Oh the beloved game of billions is no more. I tell you, the current crop of players are still better, with this rate in 10 years time, Hmmm, all I would say is that, The west is yet to come. God, what happened?
This is what happened. Kids today pensive themselves as being KLEVAS, but they don’t know that the older generation is wiser than them… as they call us, diBARI (Stupid). They start smoking at a very early age. Believe you me, at that very age, that’s when they start playing their favourite sport, S!X.
BAILE (Diski2010 manager)