WHEN AmaZulu signed striker Emiliano Tade, coach Cavin Johnson told him if he scored close to 10 goals, he wouldn’t last at the club.
Usuthu signed Tade from New Zealand side Auckland City on a two-year deal, with a one-year option to renew in June last year.
Just as predicted, six months down the line in the Premier Soccer League, Tade left Usuthu to join Mamelodi Sundowns, just before the January transfer period ended last week.
The Santiango-born striker was short of four goals to net 10, he scored six times in 20 appearances for AmaZulu.
When it comes to local players, they hardly spend a season abroad before rushing back home.
Former Bafana Bafana winger Delron Buckley, who played most of his football career in Germany and Switzerland after leaving at the age of 18, once said South African players are too spoiled with the money they are earning.
He said the weather is also too good, and that’s the reason they fail to make it abroad.
Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen, when he was in charge of Golden Arrows, once said there’s a lack of education, with many players dropping out of school without finishing their matric.
Johnson was asked if any of his players were envious of Tade catching the eye of Absa Premiership champions, Sundowns.
He said: “South African players’ mentality and attitude were the main reasons they failed, and that the system needs to change.
“That’s why people all over the world say South African players’ mentality is not at the right level,’’ Johnson said.
“Sometimes, you can agree with them. I think South Africa has some of the best talent in the world. Nurturing and taking them to the next level, maybe we can better that.
“But it’s all about our mentors’ attitude, going forward.
“It’s about mentors taking the player to the next level,” he insisted.
“Another thing is that there will always be players who come from rural areas to the big cities to play football.
“What are those people’s expectations of their child coming from the city and playing for the big team like AmaZulu?
“What I have seen is that it’s difficult for those boys because they’ve have three or four people to support, which is unfair on the kids.’’