BY ANITA RANNOBA
For young footballers trying to make it into senior teams, even in the non-paid ranks, the sport can be very unforgiving.
Stepping into the competitive world of football, any illusions that skills alone could earn you a spot in the team or that football or sport is just fun becomes just that, an illusion.
However, there is no doubt that sports inspires and provides one with opportunities to conquer human potential.
Football on its own makes one sacrifice their needs for the overall good of the team, demonstrate greatness under pressure, believe in one self, display courage and play fair at all times.
Even so many young players envy playing for a professional club as an inspiration for them, it is like supreme fantasy for any kid who has kicked a ball but only a few will ever reach.
The demand of competition in the premier league demands outsight dedication and focus which many due to jealousy and discouragement give up a little too soon and watch their dreams die down.
It’s a pity now that jealousy is creeping in to strong along with discouragement in our football. While jealousy has its manifestation in everyday living, it often rears its ugly in the context of fantasy football.
Which many premier league players are too possessive of a spot they think belongs only to them killing down the just being recognized who had perceived advantage at becoming great in football.
According to Bangani Malunga, a sports writer and analyst stated that indeed jealousy does very much exist in football adding that it comes with territory as football is a competitive sport.
He furthermore emphasized that there are instances where younger players are given the cold shoulder by older ones and not giving them advice which may lead to fear being displayed by the young counterparts’ or rather new arrivals to the team.
“The competitive atmosphere in the big club level breeds jealousy, discouragement and discrimination, but the younger players need to accept this reality because football is an unforgiving sport if you are not mentally tough,” Malunga said.
Highlighting that moving from a small team to a bigger one can present a culture shock for young players as many of them cannot survive on a demanding atmosphere. Furthermore he said they have to quickly learn that moving up a level means that results come first and it’s a cold business, they have no choice but to roll with the punches.
At the root of jealousy it is clear worry and fear contribute, the fear of not being the best and therefore being not good enough.
Local football analyst, Jimmy George, noted that the jealousy that rises in football is good for a player to grow and go beyond their expectations. He said as such, all players young or old in the scene of football should know that discouragement and jealousy are part and parcel of the game.
Before Masego Nchingani become as great as he is, he had huddles to overcome and discouragement that surfaced towards him, George stated. Highlighting that because of that he became strong as a rock and fought for his recognition, regardless of how supreme you maybe in your country or your club when it comes to moving and going up some one and something will try to pull you down.
“Players have to be strong in character, if you are weak you will crack and break and it gets even tougher when you go beyond the border. Players like Mogakolodi Ngele,Mpho Kgaswane, Kabelo Seakanyeng who all played in different teams in South Africa had their fair share of discouragement and jealousy from the dormant players they found who have been in those teams for long. To us Batswana they are great in our eyes to the outside wild they are nothing hence they have to fight their way in,” he said.
Adding that the competition can be so cruel that it goes beyond emotions in ones heart and gets displayed via words and actions, hinting that the was a time one player verbally said “Wa re o ka re ja o tswa gae?” to another club, which automatically drives in fear and discouragement.
“If you face this as a player know that there is greatness in you, you carry great potential. Each football player should know that what they face as new comers in another club or first time in the premier league is just an initiation and it will pass by the days,” said George.
“Never the less, do not give the bull a chance to win” he concluded.