Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Highlanders midfielder Blessing Gumiso has advised active players to plan for life after the game, challenging them to seek advice from the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz).
Gumiso, one of the most decorated players of his generation, who joined Bosso in 1998 from Mutare and went on to win four league titles on the trot under coaches Rahman Gumbo and the late Eddie May, said to avoid misery after hanging their boots, footballers must start planning for their next life while still active
Now based in South Africa where he is involved in developmental coaching, Gumiso noted with concern that very few footballers take advice on planning for life after the game seriously.
“Fuz please do your best in educating and mobilising players to the best of your abilities to join your association. Some close their ears when being advised. l was once a footballer and l know you only realise that things have changed when you’re no longer active,” said Gumiso.
“I’m saying so because soccer players don’t look at the bigger picture when still playing. Active players will not play forever.
Time will come for you to hang up your soccer boots and that time can come faster than expected through injuries and this will bring sadness to your life.
The winning bonuses will stop coming, some handouts from supporters will suddenly stop, camping allowances will stop, travelling allowances will stop, if rent was being paid by your club it will stop, all benefits will stop.
“If you are not well equipped for life after football, you will hate all your past playing days. You will not see the value of all medals you won during your playing days and this will definitely affect your lifestyle and family. That experience can be very scary and most will succumb to that and never rise again,” he said.
Reports of former footballers falling on hard times are well documented and Gumiso wants the present crop of players to avoid falling into the same trap.