NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Rodwell Dhlakama and his CAPS United counterpart Darlington Dodo have urged footballers to draw life lessons from the prolonged Covid-19-induced lockdown.
In separate interviews, the respected mentors said players should be aware that the prevailing lockdown could be reflective of the actual life they will be leading after football.
Dhlakama, who has assembled one of the strongest teams on paper, having taken aboard 12 reputed recruits earlier in the year, said as much as the abrupt freeze in football activities can be disturbing, the players should also take time to self-introspect as the life they are living now could more or less be the same as the one they will live after finally retiring from the game.
“After all, a playing career can end unexpectedly and players should be aware of this fact and they should always be planning for life after football,” said Dhlakama.
“The essential factor is that footballers need to invest and have tangible assets whilst still actively involved in the game.
“The situation which the players have suddenly found themselves in means a fall back plan is a priority when they finally retire from the game.
“They also need to save money because we have seen over the years players will end up getting handouts and not all are lucky to get such help.”
The much-travelled former Chapungu gaffer said he is always telling his players about such life realities, especially during this period.
Dodo said the current situation should serve as a reminder to the players that life can be unpredictable and there is need to make hey while the sun still shines.
“This is really an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in at the moment due to Covid-19. We cannot do anything about it but to stay safe and adhere to the stipulated guidelines,” said Dodo.
“On the part of the players, I think it’s a lesson for them that life may not be always what one thinks.
“A career can be short-lived due to so many reasons.
“So saving whatever one earns can be of great help when faced with the situation we are in.”
Dodo said player unions should help footballers develop a positive mindset when it comes to investing for the future.
“I hope unions representing players have plans for players to invest through contributions more like pension funds which a player will have access to after his playing career for him to lead a decent after their playing career is over.”
Players from the top-flight as well as those in lower divisions are currently finding it hard to make ends meet as teams struggle to get revenue.
Some Premiership players are earning as little as $1 500 per month while some in the First Division take home far less than that and in some instances the money is not being paid on time. Normally players earn more as they are entitled to travel, winning bonuses and appearance fees among other allowances which they can’t get during this period.