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Thinking after retirement

Mon, 16 November 2015 18:01
by Andreas Kathindi

Football as a career choice is usually one of the shortest of all career choices. As soon as it starts, the sands of time begin to pour down towards the unavoidable end.

Unlike the world of entrepreneurship, where you can remain a businessman until your late 80s, if you are dedicated, you will be lucky to still be running about into your late 30s if you are doing football.

Even a doctor can still practice up to a late age, and teachers are only forced into retirement after 60. However, a sportsman or sportswoman has to think of retirement much earlier. Sports, like golf or darts, can have you going as long as any other job.

However, sports like football, rugby, boxing and the like require the best of your years, and in Namibia often offer very little solace once it is done with.

Unlike places like England or Spain where even playing for a bottomtier team in the second division can have you earning more than enough to carve out a decent living, in Namibia, even in the Premier League, most footballers have to hold down a job which offers a steady income, which in turn compromises the quality of football they can offer.

It is no wonder that every other month, you are reading a Facebook post about a 35-year-oldlooking West African player being wished a very happy 19th birthday. Most try and squeeze as much as they can out of their careers while they can, perhaps even going as far as not being completely honest about their ages.

This is because football clubs are not always keen on playing ageing players, unless they are club legends. This leads me to wonder what the climate of ushering footballers into their post-playing careers is like.

Viewers of the English Premier League know that a pre and post-match discussion and analysis of a fixture can never happen without seeing a face on the panel which was once a bubbling footballer.

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, for example, have become exceptional pundits on Skysports’ Monday Night Football. For locals, the idea looks like once retirement looms to go into business.

The few who could not excel in the professional Sport world because of their commitments to football do find that the going can get tough. However, in their pursuit to make a life for themselves after they hang up their boots, a lot of experience is thus leaving the sport.

I don’t think there are enough initiatives to keep these players around I still need to work hard for another week and if not this week, then maybe next week I hope to start training with the rest of the lads, and so my target is Liverpool. and well-fed, whether in punditry form or whatever shape.

I must say that it’s great to see Razundara Tjikuzu at SKW. Although he is perceived to have fallen from grace, his Bundesliga and European experience will surely rub off on the youngsters there.