If you want a blompot, Stewart, don't call Serero

Thulani Serero
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Those who are calling Thulani Serero unpatriotic and a prima donna for turning down a Bafana Bafana call-up should know that players are not blompots to decorate benches.

No self-respecting top player wants to decorate a bench for three matches in a row after travelling more than 13000km. Why would any player bother flying all the way from the Netherlands to sit on the bench here when there are plenty park benches in that country that he could sit on, if he so desires?

Bafana coach Stewart Baxter has not used Serero in the past three games, so why is he making this a big deal now?

Coaches need to learn to show more respect to players first, if they expect to be respected back. They must start by calling only players they really intend using, which means better planning on their part.

Baxter is committing the same mistake as his predecessor, Shakes Mashaba, who repeatedly called players he had no intention of fielding.

Those players included Kamohelo Mokotjo, Tokelo Rantie, Dino Ndlovu and May Mahlangu.

Calling a player who is crucial to his club just to make him polish the bench is a grave insult, and destroys confidence.

And when a player's confidence is low, he loses form, which in turn affects his performance for his club.

Coaches must realise the damage they are doing to players by making 'spray and pray' call-ups.

It is also an abuse of power on their part to call up a player, just because they can, and not because they want to use him.

I see nothing wrong with Serero demanding a guarantee that he would be played before accepting the call-up.

If I were him, having been called up and kept on the bench for three matches in a row, I would also tell Baxter to go jump.

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