Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
3 minute read
9 Nov 2018
11:11 am

Ramasike: Why I retired

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Eric Ramasike says it is unfair to compare today's players to footballers from his generation.

Mamelodi Sundowns legend Eric Ramasike

Ramasike now works as a manager/supervisor at Okhusa Industrial based in Wynberg, Johannesburg.

Following his retirement from football – prematurely, because he wasn’t happy with the treatment he received from club bosses at the time – Ramasike swore to never get involved in football again.

But all that changed when he got a chance to coach an under-10 team from Old Parks Sports club in Randburg, which plays in a little league that runs from March to September each year.

“When I retired I didn’t have a plan. It wasn’t my time to retire, but because of the problems I encountered I thought it was not worth it anymore, I didn’t want to retire but I was forced into it by the people running football.

“The way I was treated got to me, I was tired of fighting for money and this and that, and I retired. Players are not free to express themselves and how they really feel, some former players don’t want anything to do with football anymore because of what happened to them. If we all (retired players) wrote a tell-all book, you would be shocked at what would be revealed.”

Back when Eric Ramasike joined Sundowns, he quickly cemented his place in the starting line-up. The former Moroka Swallows playmaker feels sorry for players who are sitting on the bench at Sundowns after making big money moves from their clubs where they were regular starters.

“You know what, it also depends on your new team-mates, it depends on if they will understand your style of play. You need to understand their playing style, you need to be yourself, don’t get there and try to imitate anyone, or come in and replace an outgoing player, you can’t be Percy Tau, but you are expected to score,” Ramasike explained.

Ramasike applauds the improvement he has noticed in South African football, but is disappointed at the shortage of goals.

He says he would like to see clubs sign and develop strikers and stop turning midfielders into strikers. Ramasike says there is hope for Bafana, judging from the development structures in each club in the PSL and the introduction of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge.

He believes junior national teams need more attention and should work as feeders for the national team. He has urged players to step up their game and not to rely too much on the coach’s tactics to win the game.

“We took the initiative, the coaches were not that influential. Sometimes the coaches would tell us what to do, but on match day, we would notice the instructions were not working, and we would talk to each other and do what we thought was best, and we won games. The coach would let us do it and he would go on and do the post-match interviews later.

“They need to be confident (players), you need to think for yourself. If the formation on the day doesn’t work, you need to do something. Senior players need to command on the field and inspire that change on the field, each team needs three or four senior players like that.”


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