The ‘Out of Contract’ (OOC) Players training camp ended as quickly as it started. Twenty-five players from all over South Africa assembled in Pretoria and went under ‘lockdown’ for 14 days creating a ‘mini bubble’ similar to that designed by the Premier Soccer League to round off the league recently.
All staff and players were screened for Covid-19 and that cast surety on everyone involved that all protocols were observed when it came to health and safety while adhering to the regulations by the DoH.
SAFPU Deputy Secretary General Taelo Salter Motloung added that it was important for OOC players to maintain their fitness, staying sharp and ready for the upcoming season since the lockdown did not do them any good. He further said: “After a friendly match against the newly formed Glad Africa Championship, Sekhukhune United, at Tsakane Stadium, the coach Jonny Ferreira identified one player from our team, Clint Fredericks, a former Ajax Cape Town FC and Jomo Cosmos FC winger. He was also invited to train with Sekhukhune United and that affirmed the reason why we decided to host the OOC camp so that we could give exposure to the players. SAFPU is also excited that OOC camp benefited four players whom were invited for assessment by two Professional clubs. The young Lethabo Rapholo impressed two institutions namely: TUT and University of North West”
Mogau Khwinana a former Tuks FC and Baroka FC shared the impact the camp had on him especially the mental health. He said: “It was about being more than a footballer, it was about being a responsible man in society. Taking responsibility not only when I sign a contract but with the decisions I make for my life.” Sun Gardens Hospice gave players the opportunity to get voluntary HIV testing and counseling during one of the sessions and how important it was to also demystify sexual health and to disseminate the right information to empower players.
Harold Ndlovu, a former Polokwane City goalkeeper, was moved by SAFPU Partner, Lifeline SA when it comes to mental health and awareness. He shared from the heart the passing of his mother and how his career took a slump. “My mother passed on and I could not keep it together. My career suffered and I did not know how to get back on my feet again. It is important that we take care of ourselves and think for the future thus not to think that we are untouchable on our era of popularity.” Harold a Bachelor of Information Science graduate and currently a Law student urged players to take education seriously and also to explore the bursary fund offered by the Union.
Through this camp President Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe says: “The next camp will be offered to women footballers. It will be the first ever women’s camp and we are excited to see it come to life.”