Welcome back to our prodigal football sons
With a flood of overseas players returning to the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the question on the lips of football fans is: Is this good for our local game, or bad?
Dean Furman, Bongani Khumalo and a number of New Zealanders will grace the domestic game this season.
Will they improve standards or are they among those seeking to revive their careers through the back door? Can they be regarded as failures after failing to make it in Europe?
While some critics see this influx as a step backward or a demotion for these players, it can only benefit the standard of the PSL, as these players bring invaluable experience with them.
All Whites striker Jeremy Brockie has already shown what he can do by becoming an instant hit since joining SuperSport United in January.
All the players mentioned will want to prove they are not failures – this can only increase competition in the league.
The PSL is regarded as one of the best leagues in Africa in terms of value, and it’s about time it also has the best playing standards. This can only be achieved by recruiting quality players.
Except for Orlando Pirates, all South African teams have failed to make their mark in continental competitions.
Pirates are the only southern African club to win the prestigious CAF Champions League – in 1995. Two years ago, they lost to Al Ahly in the finals of this competition and, depending on last night’s results, are on the verge of qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal.
Sometimes, playing in obscure European clubs does not benefit players or the national team, as the standards are almost the same as those in the PSL, if not lower.
Returning home should not be seen as a step backwards, but a step in the right direction.