Former Bloemfontein Celtic and Mthatha Bucks forward Moses Spandeel says he has a calling to nurture young players.
Spandeel is part of the technical team at ABC Motsepe League side Hungry Lions in the Northern Cape.
The 38-year-old says he is sometimes tempted to come out of retirement after playing a game or two in training with the youngsters in the team and knowing he can still keep up.
Spandeel believes many players have to deal with clubs forcing them to retire by announcing a player’s retirement before discussing it with the person in question. He has encouraged ex-players to pick themselves up and focus on the opportunities in front of them right now instead of crying foul over their treatment from club bosses.
“I didn’t prepare to retire, it was not time, I was not ready to retire. I read somewhere that I had retired,” said Spandeel. “But I don’t want to focus on that too much, it all happened in the past because now I have new focus to train these boys here and try to help them make a profession out of this game.”
Spandeel says individual commitment is what makes the team successful on the field. He says players need to remember that at times loyalty to a team doesn’t benefit a player, and they need to consider each opportunity that falls in their lap because it could be a step closer to playing in the big leagues in the world.
The former Bucks star says footballers need to challenge themselves and not shy away from exploring opportunities outside the game to give them the courage to make daring decisions careers.
Spandeel didn’t have a chance to start a business while playing professionally but has not given up on starting his entrepreneurial journey. The Klerksdorp-born former star plans to start a football academy for youngsters from his community to hone their skills. He says the lack of funding makes it difficult for any former player trying to introduce sport in the community to unprivileged kids.
“I wanted to work with development (considering coaching), because it is not like anything that gets old, you get new youngsters all the time. You work with them and my passion is to work with the boys, I wanted to still be involved with football when I retired. I never planned on doing anything that was not football related.”
Spandeel had advised the national team to go out into the community to speak to supporters, as he believes this would change people’s perceptions of Bafana Bafana and coach Stuart Baxter’s players.
“You need to be close to the fans because they are the ones that made you at the end of the day, because they are there to encourage you. Sometimes they are harsh but it takes a strong player to say ‘I don’t care, I will come back and do my best and they will cheer for me.'”