Steven Pienaar always had one item on his “football bucket list” and that was to finish off his illustrious football career in the country of his birth. His dream was to come back from plying his trade in some of the best leagues in Europe where he played for big clubs such as Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, Everton, Tottenham Hotspurs as well as Sunderland.
Nothing comes bigger than playing in the German Bundesliga as well as in the English Premier league. Schillo as the man is called by many football lovers did it all. He survived the rigours of the European football fields for almost 16 years. He always had a dream of donning the skull and crossboned Orlando Pirates jersey.
When he came back to the Premier Soccer League (PSL), in the colour of Bidvest Wits, for whom he signed during in the August 2017 transfer window, everyone was excited and had very high expectations. Although, many Orlando Pirates fans were very disappointed that this self-proclaimed “Bhakaniya” would not be in the colours of the Soweto giants.
At the age of 35 many believed that Schillo would set the local football alight for at least one season after being released by Sunderland. By the way Benni McCarthy once came back and won a treble with Orlando Pirates in the 2012/13 season.
Fast forward to January 2018 and Bidvest Wits release the player from his contract after a disappointing six months at the club. He only made a paltry four starting appearances for the clubs and played only eleven times across all competitions.
This is really disappointing figures, to say the least. Things just did not work out for him at Wits and sadly it might have brought the curtain down on an illustrious career that was certainly an enjoyable one.
Sadly, Schillo will go down as one of the myriad of players that went to Europe and flopped on their come back to Mzantsi football. Players like Terror Fanteni, Thabang Molefe, Jeffrey Ntuka and many others left these shores as top players but came back and flopped.
As if this is not enough, Cape Town City also released the much travelled Victor Obinna was also released after spending less than six months at the club. Remember, he also played in some of the top leagues in Europe.
The curtain has come down in a very distasteful manner for one of the great sons of Mzantsi football. However, we will always be fond of his exploits on the European scene where he represented us with aplomb.
By Andile Chase Namntu – The Armchair Football Guru