Rama-G aims to pick himself up from devastating double tragedy

Rodney Ramagalela of Highlands Park during the MTN 8 media launch at Park on 7th, Hyde Park Corner o n August 07, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Rodney Ramagalela of Highlands Park during the MTN 8 media launch at Park on 7th, Hyde Park Corner o n August 07, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Highlands Park goal-poacher Rodney Ramagalela has vowed to come back stronger in 2020 after suffering a devastating family tragedy last year.

Ramagalela was dealt a shattering double blow to his life when his daughter and mother both died just months apart during the course of this season.

His daughter died in August‚ as the 2019-20 season was starting‚ and then‚ travelling to play Cape Town City in November‚ Ramagalela received the news his mother had died.

The striker with an eye for goals was hugely affected‚ but said he hopes to pick himself up from a tragic 2019 by lifting his performance on the field in the last five months of the current season.

“Look‚ for me personally 2019 was not good for me and I believe as we've started 2020 is going to be good‚” he said.

The 32-year-old hitman said he was also grateful for the support he received from the club management throughout his setbacks.

“Since I have been at Highlands Park I’ve been finding it easy to work with coach Owen [Da Gama] and his assistant [Allan Freese]‚ the management‚ the players also‚ and it is good to be at Highlands. I feel at home‚” he said.

The playmaking striker’s switch to Highlands was seen as a fresh start of his career after a frustrating stint at Polokwane City.

Asked about why he struggled in 2019 to find a rhythm at Highlands “Rama-G” said it was more from personal issues than football ones.

“If you can remember it was not more of playing‚ it was more of personal issues‚” he said.

“I lost my daughter and my mom at the same time‚ so for me it was not about issues of game time‚ it was more of personal issues and in-between I got injured‚ so there were more setbacks.”

Ramagalela said he is pleased with Park’s overall start to the 2019-20 season despite a 3-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs on Wednesday.

“I think we didn't pitch up [against Chiefs] and I can't really point out where we went wrong‚” he said.

“From the start until the finish we never showed hunger and determination that we wanted to win the game.”

Highlands‚ placed sixth in the Absa Premiership with 23 points from 17 matches‚ meet second-last Stellenbosch FC at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 3.30pm).

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