It is of­ten said that age ain’t noth­ing but a num­ber, but there comes a time when play­ers should quit while they are ahead. runs the rule over those who need to hang up their boots – now

Ti­mothy Molobi

CityPress - - Sport - Rowen Fernán­dez (37): Lucky Lekg­wathi (38): Ben­son Mh­longo (34): Elias Ng­wepe (37): Te­bogo Monyai (35): Es­rom Nyan­doro (35): Moroka Swal­lows

Some are no longer con­tribut­ing to their clubs but still draw salaries. If it were not for the money, th­ese play­ers would have re­tired a while ago. Oth­ers stick around be­cause they sim­ply love it or have noth­ing else to do. Although hang­ing up their boots might be the last thing any of them are con­tem­plat­ing, this is a sad list of play­ers who were once great and some who never were, but they all share one thing: they need to re­tire while they still have an ounce of dig­nity left.

The vet­eran goal­keeper has had a long and solid ca­reer here and abroad. He will go down as one of the all-time great ser­vants of the game. How­ever, he rarely sees play­ing time any more and is a shell of his for­mer self. The last time Fernán­dez played was for Bid­vest Wits in Septem­ber.

His days at Or­lando Pi­rates have been glo­ri­ous, lift­ing a dou­ble tre­ble in two con­sec­u­tive sea­sons. But one can’t still pic­ture him run­ning up and down the field. He is just too old to keep up with the pace and age is no longer on his side. If Lekg­wathi wants to keep his le­gacy in­tact, it’s best for him to re­tire now.

His is a good story. He de­fied the odds to bounce back af­ter two ca­reerthreat­en­ing knee in­juries. But Mh­longo needs to give up on foot­ball. He is a mo­tor me­chanic in his spare time. Maybe he should pur­sue that fur­ther. He tried to res­ur­rect his ca­reer with Polok­wane City, but made only 12 ap­pear­ances. He oc­ca­sion­ally showed some flashes of bril­liance, but seem­ingly no longer has it.

Just four ap­pear­ances for City last sea­son is not good enough for a vet­eran of Ng­wepe’s distinc­tion. There are too many signs that he should call it a day and en­joy re­tire­ment.

Although Tuks have ex­tended his con­tract by yet an­other sea­son, Monyai needs to start plan­ning for his fu­ture off the field. Age has caught up with him. He has been ex­cep­tional for AmaTuks and surely they will look af­ter him be­yond his play­ing days.

It was quite sur­pris­ing to see the 35-year-old mid­fielder still huff­ing and puff­ing at Sun­downs’ train­ing ses­sions re­cently. But hon­estly,

Greg Etafia

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