“The idea to get into fash­ion “As a foot­baller you think it’s gonna

Kick Off - - ALL ACCESS -

ac­count of my­self, I wasn’t given the nod, which hurt be­cause I was ready and I per­formed and gave my best. “Some­times se­lec­tors will get caught up in the hype of a player. Foot­ball is just pol­i­tics in a dif­fer­ent arena and it is very sub­jec­tive.” Re­flec­tion is a strange mood. It can of­ten dis­tort mem­ory, mould­ing it into the shape of feel­ings rather than fact. But in the hands of a for­mer soc­cer player, re­flec­tion can have a pow­er­ful crys­tallis­ing ef­fect, mak­ing the mem­ory oh so purer and truer. Haschick’s rec­ol­lec­tions are as clear as his Con­sol Glass pupils. He does not shy away from his strug­gles with post-ca­reer de­pres­sion nor his scars from what may as well have been a Cypriot “prison”. “I un­der­stand why South African foot­ballers of­ten don’t make it overseas. It is not the foot­ball that kills you; it’s every­thing else. “You train for a few hours, then you have to go home alone with­out any sup­port sys­tem. I didn’t un­der­stand Greek when I went to Cyprus. I was hyped up when I got there, but straight away I was hit with pol­i­tics. “The coach then stone-walled me. I ended up mov­ing clubs [from Eth­nikos Achna with­out playing a game, to Apol­lon Li­mas­sol] even be­fore the trans­fer win­dow even opened and took a pay cut to push the move. “I played a few games, but they didn’t treat me great ei­ther. I was racially abused and there were cer­tain play­ers that wouldn’t talk to me and would tar­get me for abuse be­cause I was African. I was called deroga­tory names that were aimed at black peo­ple. They made me feel like I did not be­long there. Foot­ballers that fail to plan ahead for their fu­tures in­evitably end up back in the en­vi­ron­ments that they fought hard to es­cape. Ex­cept, af­ter the highs of fame, they carry the ex­tra bur­den of shame; tails tucked be­tween the legs, beg­ging bowl fixed in their clutches. Haschick did not have this im­age of him­self in mind when he saw the be­gin­ning of the end and stitched the first plan to­wards his cloth­ing brand idea. ac­tu­ally started dur­ing my sec­ond stint at Bush Bucks. What I saw out there was not what I wanted to wear. I set about want­ing to start my own lit­tle cloth­ing range. “I had about R20-R25 000 put aside, which I used to get started. But quickly I re­alised I didn’t know much. Af­ter Bush Bucks, I didn’t play foot­ball at all for a whole sea­son and in 2007 I went to play for OR Tambo Cos­mos in the third tier. “How­ever, I was work­ing with a fash­ion de­signer to cre­ate dif­fer­ent pat­terns and stuff, all the while try­ing to get back into top-tier foot­ball. I was re­search­ing the right kind of fab­rics and spent hours ev­ery­day on­line try­ing to learn as much as I could about the cloth­ing in­dus­try. Every­one talks about the “Friend Zone” but no one talks about the “Comfort Zone”. The comfort zone has been re­spon­si­ble for the end of many foot­ball ca­reers. It’s an opium in its own right; a habit as hard to kick as any po­tent drug. They say, once a man is drown­ing, they feel one last sen­sa­tion of ec­stasy and a false sense that all is won­drous with the world. This feel­ing is akin to what foot­ballers must feel mo­ments be­fore fame and money are snatched from them. last for­ever. You don’t pre­pare for

(Left) The for­ward started out his ca­reer at Bush Bucks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.