Legends Corner: Seale in a class of his own

HAPPY SOULMATES: Kaizer Chiefs defender Rudolph Seale is congratulated by teammates after scoring. Photo: Gallo Images
HAPPY SOULMATES: Kaizer Chiefs defender Rudolph Seale is congratulated by teammates after scoring. Photo: Gallo Images

RUDOLPH Gardner Seale has no regrets that he's without a personal award after a solid 16 years in professional football.

He said it did not diminish his class, and that it was largely down to the calibre of player at Kaizer Chiefs during his heyday.

"If Lucas Radebe struggled to get an award then, who was I?" he said with a smile. "Without disrespecting the current crop at Chiefs, our team then boasted the crème de la crème of South African football."

Seale, who was known as a ladies' man, was also not apologetic about his hectic lifestyle off the pitch when Sowetan caught up with the once-revered left-back yesterday.

Can you take us through your stay at Chiefs?

I joined them at a very tender age and went through the ranks. I graduated from the Under-14s to Under-16s and later to Under-18s and the reserve team. I was then snapped up by Giant Blackpool after I impressed Eddie Lewis but returned to Chiefs as a professional player in 1996. I spent a glorious eight years as a professional player at Chiefs.

How was your spell at Blackpool?

I helped them win the OK League (then Second Division) after spending just six months with them. But I did not want to stay with them in the top flight because my heart was still with Chiefs. I was their product, remember.

You speak highly of SuperSport United, what happened there?

That was the most highly professional team I've ever played for.

You regard Jeff Butler and Augusto Palacios as the best coaches you have worked under. What did they do for your career?

Jeff was a master tactician and knows to deal with individual players. He instilled a sense of discipline and maturity in me while I was still young. Palacios gave me tips on how and when to overlap. He encouraged us to communicate during matches.

Who were you close to at Chiefs?

Ntsie Maphike, Doctor Khumalo and Paul Motaung because I played with them in the development team.

Where did you go after hanging up your soccer boots?

I retired in 2003 and joined Silver Stars (now Platinum Stars) as a player-assistant coach. I left the club after just three months because of some differences I had with coach Owen da Dama.

Can you elaborate on your social life?

I would be lying if I said women were not throwing themselves at me but I was not reckless in life. It is for this reason that I only have one child because I did not go around having babies. But I enjoyed the attention that I got because of my status.

Is your child following in your footsteps?

His name is Tenasch and he is 19 years old. He can't kick a stationary ball but I'm happy that he took education seriously.

Which player(s) caused you sleepless nights?

They were many but Brendon Silent was more problematic. He was not a 90-minute player but whenever he was brought on, I knew that it would not be easy for me. Joel "Fire" Masilela and Mongi Rula were also tricky.

Which game stands out for you?

When we played against Orlando Pirates in the Maize Meal (Soccer Spectacular) at Soccer City in 1993 and though we lost that match 3-2, I was happy with my individual performance. I took on five defenders and created a goal for Albert Bwalya immediately after I was brought on.

What is your best goal?

I've scored a couple of outstanding goals but the one that quickly come to mind is the one I scored against Witbank Aces in the Bobsave Superbowl quarterfinals. I was not 100 percent fit to play because of an injury but Jeff Butler insisted that I should be included in the squad. I started on the bench and was introduced when Aces started to threaten us. I limped onto the pitch and scored the winner.

Give us a brief description of yourself?

Patient, but I can be very angry.

What are you doing at the moment?

I give stats on PSL matches to PA Sport in the UK on match days.

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FACT BOX

  • Names: Rudolph Gardner
  • Surname: Seale
  • Nickname: Mgababa
  • Date of birth: October 29 1966
  • Place of birth: White City, Soweto
  • Marital status: Single
  • Family: One son, Tenasch (19)
  • Favourite local club: Kaizer Chiefs
  • Favourite overseas club: Liverpool
  • Favourite local player: Benni McCarthy
  • Favourite overseas player: Steven Gerrard
  • Favourite other sport: Golf
  • Current car: Toyota Corolla
  • First car: Opel Kadett
  • Favourite destination: Durban
  • Favourite dish: Curry and rice
  • Favourite local artist: Theo Kgosinkwe
  • Favourite overseas artist: Anthony Hamilton
  • Pet Hate: Pretenders
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