Former SuperSport United midfielder, Mark Haskins, who now plies his trade for Catalonia FC at this year’s Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge, was not ready to retire when Matsatsantsa a Pitori opted not renew his contract back in 2013.
The now 36-year old rather, had hoped that he was going to get an extension to his deal, or maybe earn a move to another club, after he had played 120 minutes in their 1-0 Nedbank Cup final loss to Kaizer Chiefs.
However, none of those hoped for deals ever worked out.
As a result, the central midfielder was then forced to hang up his boots from the professional game, before he felt it was the right time to do so.
It is in the harsh reality which he experienced back then, that Haskins says he will stop at nothing to educate aspiring professional footballers of just how cruel football can be at times, despite how talented you are.
Following their 3-0 win against Zola Seven Stars FC which sees them still on top of their Group C standings with a game to go before their group fixtures come to an end, Haskins advised that though a whole lot of players have dreams of one day cracking it into the professional scene, they must never neglect their studies as a career in football is never guaranteed.
“Football has the capacity to break your heart as a human being,” Haskins said. “This in one reality I believe every aspiring pro player should know and be well aware of. And the reason why I say that it’s because there’s so much talent in this country, which makes any player plying his trade in the elite league, disposable at any given time. I, for one, never thought my career would end overnight. I had 12 years of playing experience and when SuperSport opted not to renew my contract. And that’s why a balance between football and studying is very important.”
Meanwhile Haskins, who has journalism qualification he acquired from Wits University as a retired player, praised the standard of football in this tournament, adding that he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on his side, claiming that they’ll reach the final this year.
“I know it’s an old football cliché in me saying that will take it one game at a time,” Haskins said. “However, that’s what we are intending to do as a club. We’ll take it game by game and build from those results moving forward in this tournament. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves.”
|1||Dlamini X1Experience 2 vs. 0 Meadowlands Academy|
|2||Image FC 1 vs. 4 Premier Impala FC|
|3||Bapong Future Stars 0 vs. 10 Orange Army|
|4||Undertaker FC 3 vs. 0 Mapetla Young Pro|
|5||Atletico FC 0 vs. 4 Infinity Sports|
|6||Mintlangu Academy 2 vs. 0 Orlando West Academy|
|1||Motolo BT Stars 5 vs. 0 Vlakfontein Happy Boys|
|2||African Diaspora Hope 0 vs. 0 Trabzon FC|
|3||Senaoane Gunners 4 vs. 0 Royal Lions|
|4||Zola Seven Stars 0 vs. 3 Catalonia FC|
|5||Hlokoloza FC 0 vs. 2 Glen United|
|6||Thulani Chelsea 3 vs. 5 Mc D.com FC|
|7||Pimville Cameroon 5 vs. 0 DB Villas|
|8||Dzakaroski FC 5 vs. 2 Opopo Academy|
|9||BKM FC 2 vs. 4 Pimville West Ham|
|10||Soweto All Stars 6 vs. 1 Africa Football Selection|