do Marks Maponyane, Shane McGregor, Noel Cousins, Calvin Petersen, Shaun
Bartlett, Benni McCarthy, Jerry Sikhosana, Philemon "Chippa" Masinga and the late Moren "Samora"
Khulu have in common?
were all sharpshooters of note who knew where the goals were during
now, I think time is ripe for them to come together and form a United SA
Not a group of strikers that litter this country these days who strike from
doing anything, but I mean players who can find the back of the net!
association would help South Africa find a solution to our perennial soccer
problem, failure to score goals.
can forget Masinga grabbing a hat-trick
in the BP Top 8 final against the mighty Kaizer Chiefs in 1991 or his blistering goal against Congo in qualification for Bafana Bafana's maiden Soccer World Cup
in France in 1998?
anyone deny that it was a marvel to watch a young McCarthy blast four goals
against Namibia at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso?
Sikhosana and McGregor used to leave
defenders and goalkeepers bemused as they scored goals from some of the most
unlikely angles. If in doubt, ask one Brian Baloyi!
alas, whatever conveyor belt that churned them out, seems to have dried up and
our players are shooting such blanks that we have a top goal-scorer finishing
with a measly 10 goals in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
found it laughable this week when Kermit Erasmus, one of our "top
strikers" who has found the net a mere seven times in 19 outings for
Orlando Pirates this season, made excuses for why they were failing.
you are playing for Pirates against the so-called smaller teams, most of these
teams park the bus and that is difficult to break down as a striker,” he told KickOff.com.
went on to say that strikers from the other clubs (not Pirates and Chiefs) have
better chances to score because the other cubs are not ultra-defensive when
playing against them.
you look at (Puleng) Tlolane he is on eight goals because no teams sit back
against Polokwane City, so that is why he is getting into those areas to score
goals. For us as a team at Pirates, a lot of teams sit back when playing
against us. They know we will dominate possession so all they want to do is
catch us on the break.”
this was the case, players from the "so-called smaller teams" -
Erasmus' words not mine - would be bulging the back of the net week in and week out and we
would be having them bag the top goal-scorer award season after season.
and co. must just admit they are failing in their duties, hence South
African football is in dire straits.
this indeed was the case, the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Francesco
Totti, Alexander Meier, Arjen Robben and Alexis Sanchez would not be top
scorers in the tough Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga and
the English Premiership that are league's with some of the toughest and
well-organised defences in the world.
strikers just need to polish up their skills to be able to beat defences.
is for this reason that I am calling on Maponyane and his peers to form this
association. Go around the country visiting schools and academies to impart
their knowledge on how to score goals.
is just one of the ways that this problem can be addressed.
is really a pressing matter that needs national action or else our national
teams will continue to fire blanks and in the process fail to make any impact
on the international front.
the saying goes, you get out as much as you put in.S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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