By Mbekezeli Ncube
MARITZBURG United forward, Gabriel Nyoni, a Zimbabwean player, has urged fellow footballers to take the current global suspension of football as an opportunity to think of their lives after football.
The South African Premier Soccer League joined other leagues around the world in interrupting all football games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with NewZimbabwecom, the speedy winger said footballers should find a way of generating money outside football because the more a soccer player gets older, the closer he gets to the brink of his career.
“This is the time for us to prepare for our lives after football, the time is coming when playing would be a thing of the past. Another pandemic might come again and everything will stop but growing up does not.”
“Getting a second income whilst still playing is of paramount importance, your playing days are also determined by your age, the older you get is the closer your career is coming to an end. Football has stopped because of this pandemic but your age hasn’t,” said Nyoni
Granvia as the versatile was affectionately known during his spells with either Caps United or Highlanders said he spending the lockdown time reading metaphysics books in order to keep himself occupied.
“This lockdown is like surviving on an island alone, you can just go through the day by following a programme. For me I do two workouts a day and I do a lot of reading especially metaphysics books.”
“This pandemic has enlightened me on my future outside football and I hope that it has come as a stern warning to all footballers to prepare for their lives after football. This pandemic might last for some time and clubs that rely on gate takings might start to fall into serious financial problems,” he said
Nyoni, a holder of an honours degree in marketing from the National University of Science and Technology, also said he is working on pursuing a career as an academic.