“I UNDERSTAND WHY SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALLERS OFTEN DON’T MAKE IT OVERSEAS. IT IS NOT THE FOOTBALL THAT KILLS YOU; IT’S EVERYTHING ELSE.”
“The idea to get into fashion “As a footballer you think it’s gonna
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.