“I don’t feel our legends have been given credit that they deserve, not credit in terms of getting something from the club but that acknowledgment and that’s where the foundation of the club is built.”
These are the words uttered by legend Lefa Tsutsulupa in a conversation with Swallows FC chairperson David Mogashoa.
“Tsutsulupa believes Swallows and South African football at large don’t appreciate legends and says that needs to change.
“As much as I am no longer playing for Swallows but even today my kids still ask me, when is Swallows playing? When are we going to watch? But if you are going to acknowledge me it means you are acknowledging my kids the I will bring them,” said Tsutsulupa.
“But our legends also have that mentality that when Swallows gives them a call, they are going to make some money but we need to communicate a message that says as much as you guys played your roles in the past but we need you more now because things are changing.
“Now we can’t look at Swallows as an old club, it is more futuristic, we are now on social media, we now have our own bus so we are moving in that direction,” added the former Moroka Swallows long-serving captain with over 300 matches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era – 282 for the Soweto giants.
Swallows chairperson Mogashoa added his voice and said: “I don’t think we appreciate our legends more than the overseas clubs I mean look at Lucas Radebe.
“Look at Leeds United, Lucas is like an ambassador, he is here, they drink coffee, they don’t have it without Lucas but with us once Lefa goes, Lefa has gone, he is a forgotten man,” added Mogashoa.
Tsutsulupa suggested that his old club should invite legends, have some initiatives, and set up a small budget once the team gain promotion back to the Absa Premiership.
“Even today Steven Pienaar still gets invited by Everton FC to attend games, he does some initiatives in Kenya for Everton. If Ajax have something they call him so those are the people we need to bring,” added Tsutsulupa.
In their last GladAfrica Championship encounter against Uthongathi at Dobsonville Stadium just before the coronavirus outbreak put a halt to the season, Swallows invited club legend Joel ‘Ace Mnini to celebrate his birthday with him and also show some appreciation for the contribution Mnini made to the ‘Dube Birds’ and football in general.
“Based on financial strength, we can set up a small budget, if they [legends] come and play a game against Kaizer Chiefs legends before a game and we pay them R2000 each so that they feel like they are still part of the team,” concluded Tsutsulupa who spent a decade at Swallows.
By FARPost Reporter