Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Steven Pienaar, not another Bennie McCarthy ?

We hope that Steven Pienaar, midfielder in the Bafana team, doesn't morph into another Bennie McCarthy. The saga on his release from Everton, where he is evidently making his mark has raised this concern amongst lovers of the game, who want to see this young man in the Afcon competition. The fame and fortune of the beautiful game can have different effects on players, depending on many factors. Sadly, Bennie McCarty, striker of Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League, has seemingly lost the plot in terms of what really matters. Of course, we are proud when South Africans make it on the big stage, especially youngsters, from local communities, where it seems as if drugs and gang violence rule. The success of players like him and Quinton Fortune, but also Pienaar, amongst others serve as an inspiration and sign of hope to other poor young boys, that you can make it, through hard work and dedication. When it however becomes a burden or inconvenience to play for your country, your people, then the red lights are flashing. We used to say, 'jou kop swel' (your head is swollen)- it becomes too heavy. We are aware of the wonderful work that Pienaar is doing amongst others in Coronationville, Newclare and Westbury, amongst young people, investing in his community.

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