sheppy manages to stay humble

DESPITE his numerous achievements in the game of football, Platinum Stars midfielder Dillon Sheppard is still a humble servant of the local game.

DESPITE his numerous achievements in the game of football, Platinum Stars midfielder Dillon Sheppard is still a humble servant of the local game.

"Sheppy" spent time in the junior ranks of Spanish giants Barcelona, Dutch club NAC Breda and German outfit Borussia Dortmund as well as Russian side Dinamo Moscow and Panionios of Greece.

In South Africa he turned out for Ajax Cape Town and Mamelodi Sundowns, and had he not been dogged by injury there is no doubt he could have gone on to even greater achievements.

Q: How did you spend Christmas?

A: I spent it quietly with my family, just having a braai and hanging out with my children. Thankfully, there was no training (laughs).

Q: And you've also been playing golf?

A: Yeah, golf is a big part of my life, and what I do when I get a bit of time off. Spending time with the family and taking the kids out is another.

Q: What has being the father of two girls been like?

A: I think it is important for me to be the right father figure for them - set the right example for them. I want to raise them the way my parents raised me, they were quite strict and big on discipline. But I thank them for raising me the way they did.

Q: At what age will you let them start dating?

A: If I had my way, never! No, but all I can do is equip them with the tools to make the right decisions.

Q: If you were president of the country, what changes would you make?

A: The obvious thing is deal with our crime situation. Get the right people to eliminate the scourge. It's already cost us a lot of skilled people.

Q: Who are your role models, both on and off the field?

A: My parents. My mother played a huge role in my career, and has guided me and by taking me to the School of Excellence made the decision that put my career in motion.

On the field, Barcelona coach Pepe Guardiola is it. He was the captain when I went over there, and from observing him and seeing him go about his business I learnt a lot.

He has also succeeded at a very young age. Since I want to coach too, he is someone I can learn from.

Q: If Carlos Alberto Parreira were to call you up, how will you celebrate?

A: I don't know how much time I will have to do that, but I will get myself there and just die for my country, like I have done before.

Q: How do you think we'll fare in the World Cup?

A: With good preparation, I don't see why we cannot get to the second round.

Q: Who is your best friend?

A: It's difficult to single out one person, but I'm tight with Kurt Lentjies and Robyn Johannes from my time at Sundowns and of course Stanton Fredericks. But I also have a couple of guys at my current team.

Q: Who do you share a room with on camp at Stars and what do you talk about?

A: Striker Bradley Grobler. He has to listen to me advising him about the best position to score goals, since he is the youngster.

Q: What car do you drive?

A: A Chrysler Voyager and an Audi A3.

Q: What were you like at school?

A: Generally very quiet, although I never really enjoyed the academic part.

Q: How does dad Douglas feel when his team roughs you up? (Sheppard's father is a physiotherapist at Lamontville Golden Arrows.)

A: (laughs) I think when we played teams my dad worked for, he actually told them to rough me up. He is very competitive, but of course he is concerned and he calls when something bad happens to me.

Q: Should you ever relocate to any other country, which one would it be?

A: Greece maybe, I enjoyed my time there, but any island really.

Q: What is your favourite kind of music?

A: I'm into reggae, but I'm not very particular.

Q: While you were living abroad, did anything peculiar happen to you?

A: Once when I was in Moscow, I was sitting on the bench in one game and it got so cold that when I went in to take a shower, I put only hot water and after a while, I experienced the worst pain - I had burnt myself.

Q: Besides your wife, who is the most beautiful woman in the world?

A: Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen (right).