How can it be possible to have one of the best leagues on the continent and still have a national team that struggles to get through any competition that they partake in? Well, it is possible! A great example would be our beloved South Africa and on the other side of the world, England, who when taken a closer look at, are very similar.
The Barclays Premier League is rated as the best and most competitive leagues in the world, boasting a number of great players but when the national team is put to task in a competition even a tea bag can last longer in a cup! Now, you might question yourself about why the national squad suffers and the answer is rather simple - foreign imports. If you had to list all the outstanding players from the teams in the league, how many English citizens will you be able to pick out? Hardly any, right? It is a sad situation and it is growing in our local league as well.
Looking at the Premier Soccer League, we have numerous players both South African and foreign who are undoubtedly talented and keep us entertained with their footballing skills on the field of play. Personally, I have nothing against foreign players who are brought in, in fact I think it is great as they will be able to help build our football but it does damage the grooming of our own breed.
With more and more teams searching for talent elsewhere, it leaves our players scratching their heads, wondering where they will fit in and that is when they find a gap and also move to other countries in search of a team to play in. This then results in South African players being scattered all over from the Middle East all the way to European countries and we are left with little engagement between our players who only meet when there is an international match and then we wonder why we are never able to leave a mark in any competition.
A great example to look at will be the German team. Most of their players are still playing in the Bundesliga which results in the players getting used to playing styles and they know the capabilities that their countrymen possess. Just might be something South Africa could consider to look at and invest more in local talent which could in turn be a success for our future Bafana Bafana…
Which teams in the PSL do you think rely mostly on foreign players?