If Chippa Can Do It, So Can All Stars
In this week’s edition of Soccer Laduma, Cape Town All Star’s striker, Houston Hills, opens up to Soccer Laduma’s Peter Raath about overcoming personal problems.
He also discusses Boebie Solomons, Kaizer Chiefs and promotion - with the NFD Focus brought to you by BUCO.
Upon his exit from Mpumalanga Black Aces, Hills endured a torrid time at Milano United on the sidelines. He said, “For my whole six months at Milano I was down… off. It was the worst time in my career.
"Having to leave Mpumalanga Black Aces after helping to promote them was a bit hard. I felt it was unfair. When I went to Milano, I was a little bruised and concentrated on the negative things instead of being positive.
“They didn’t have anybody to help me. Even the PSL clubs don’t have people such as psychologists, who can see when something is wrong with you.”
Despite this ordeal, Hills found a light at the end of the tunnel when he moved to All Stars, finding the back of the net four times in five outings.
“When you’re happy you play well. In-between leaving Milano and joining All Stars, I was at home trying to get my mind right. I just decided to change my lifestyle and also to become a better player. In football you have to be strong and live with whatever happens.
“During my three months at All Stars, I’ve learnt lots from our coach, Boebie Solomons, who has played a big role in me finding my form again. He’s a good motivator… a father-figure… and has been in the game a long time. He knows when a player is down… not right, " Hills observed.
“That’s what has helped me and the other players. It’s not just about training, but preparing yourself mentally, “ he further added.
Hills went on regarding promotion to the PSL side, believing that they too can achieve the same feat as their former Cape rivals, Chippa United.
“If Chippa United can do it, so can All Stars. You have to win at home. That’s vital. Our main ambition is to qualify for the play-offs, but if we can win the league it’ll be a bonus. But we’re not going to put pressure on ourselves.”
In conclusion, Hills talked about their friendly match against Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs in the “off-season”.
“I learnt so much in that game, despite having previously played against Chiefs when I was at Bidvest Wits. It was also a good experience for the youngsters.
“For us, it wasn’t about the result. It was more to see where we were as an NFD side. I found Chiefs so quick, the way they played one-twos. They knew which runs to make and how to press us into a corner, “ he concluded.
To read Hill's full interview, check out edition 910 of Soccer Laduma on shelves now, page 18, with the NFD Focus brought to you by BUCO.