SA players need to know about our own greats

The writer wishes old local matches were widely and easily available so that our young players, like Teboho Mokoena, can be inspired by their countrymen first and foremost.
The writer wishes old local matches were widely and easily available so that our young players, like Teboho Mokoena, can be inspired by their countrymen first and foremost.
Image: Darren Stewart / Gallo Images

SuperSport United midfielder and under-23 international Teboho Mokoena said he watched how Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi take free kicks. Mokoena said that after scoring from a set piece to help SA to beat Ivory Coast during the recently concluded Under-23 Afcon in Egypt.

Mokoena said he noticed that Messi walks instead of running before taking free kicks. There's nothing wrong with that. What worries me is the fact that young players like him don't know that we've had magicians like Messi in this country.

I remember vividly that Mlungisi "Professor" Ngubane and Ephraim "Jomo" Sono used the same technique and it was damn effective, long before Messi. In fact, Sono hardly moved back from the ball before hitting it. Ngubane also walked instead of running before hitting the ball.

As older generation, we look stupid in front of our kids when we wax lyrical about great players of the past.

I know SABC has videos of those matches but that service is not well marketed. I wish such old matches were widely and easily available so that our young players can be inspired by their countrymen first and foremost.

Youngsters don't even know why we say Pule "Ace" Ntsoelengoe was the best player ever to come out of this country. Mokoena is one of privileged few since his late father, Alexis "Didi" Motaung, was also a professional footballer.

If the SABC can't make such matches readily available, it must outsource that service.

Richardson Mzaidume, Pimville

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