Platinum Stars midfielder Tintswalo Tshabalala has stressed the need for aspiring footballers not to neglect education in their quest to make it to professional ranks.
Tshabalala, along with his teammates, Dikwena technical team, club officials, Royal Bafokeng Sports and Royal Bafokeng Holdings staff, visited two North West schools, where they conducted soccer clinics for close to 250 learners over two days. The soccer clinics, a part of Platinum Stars Soccer Schools, kicked off at Tlapa Primary School on Wednesday before concluding at Thethe Secondary School on Thursday.
Tshabalala tells Platinumstars.com that he and his teammates were well received by the adoring youngsters and their teachers.
“As you know Platinum Stars is from this community, it was our chance to meet with future youngsters. We were encouraging the ones that love football that they too can become professionals like us. They mustn’t give up on their dreams. However they must know that education comes before football. Education is very important. Everything went well. We were happy with the response from the children. They did the things that we required of them. There’s hope for the future,” said Tshabalala.
Dikwena players showed and taught the youngsters moves, skills and imparted other necessities required in football. Dikwena took the opportunity to give back to the community. The club also donated soccer balls, kits, T-shirts and other resources. North West legends – Jacob Tshisevhe, Fabian McCarthy and Sylvester City Kole also joined Dikwena.
After the international break, Tshabalala and his teammates will return to the pitch where they have to improve on their performances. Cavin Johnson’s men have been experiencing mixed fortunes in the league this season. Dikwena are now on position nine with two wins, three draws and two losses. They have scored five goals from seven matches. Tshabalala has pleaded for patience saying the team is still gelling.
“It’s been tough. We had teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates. We had to push. When you look at our team, mostly it’s youngsters. They have to gel. PSL is not easy. It might look easy but it’s not. It might look easy from the stands or TV but it’s not. The youngsters must take time to gel. I think now most of the youngsters are ready and they can compete. We are ready to do well,” said the man nicknames Scorpion.
In their last match Dikwena managed to amass three points against Golden Arrows. Tshabalala believes it was the beginning of a turnaround.
“I believe the Arrows game was a turning point to our winning ways. When you look we were playing good football. Obviously when you don’t create and score, you won’t win without scoring. I believe we have sorted the problem. We are going to compete. Our suppers have to be patient with us. We need their support. We want to do well,” said Tshabalala.
Dikwena’s next assignment is an Absa Premiership clash against log leaders Bidvest Wits at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on November 19.