Throwback Thursday: Christopher Netshidzivhe
Posted: 22 February 2018 Time: 01:20 pm
Former Black Leopards midfielder Christopher Netshidzhivhe admits life is much harder since hanging up his boots.
The 37-year-old retired from football in 2013 while on the books of Dynamos following their relegation from the National First Division.
Netshidzhivhe, who has two boys aged 12 and seven with his partner, says he earned decent money in his playing days.
However, he is now relying on occasional piece work to get by around his home village of Tshidzivhe.
"I'm trying everything these days to support my family," Netshidzhivhe tells KickOff.com.
"I don't have a proper job or a stable one. I go anywhere where there is a piece job, I don't choose jobs anymore. As long as they employ me, whether it's at schools installing pipes, building... any job, draining water... any job.
"These days my life is little bit difficult, it's no longer the same. There are things I can no longer afford.
"I was earning R25 000 a month during my time as a footballer, that time that was a lot. If it was now I would be earning around R100 000 at Leopards but in other teams like Chiefs, Sundowns and Pirates I would be earning around R200 000 to R300 000.
"Saving was difficult during our time because at home they were expecting you to put food on their table and on the other side you also had your own needs like a car, clothes.
"That said, I don't regret anything in my football career. I can't blame football for my current situation, I blame myself on that one. Though I can't say much about that but I blame myself with a lot of things.
"It's not like I retired early from football but this U-23 rule in the NFD forced me out so I couldn't continue playing soccer."
Netshidzivhe grew up supporting Kaizer Chiefs and wanted to play for the Soweto giants, but never got the opportunity.
"I grew up supporting Chiefs. Even now I'm supporting Chiefs but the chairman [David Thidiela] didn't want me to leave. I didn't have a problem with staying though as I played my best football at Leopards."
A free-kick specialist in his day, Netshidzivhe says he worked hard on that aspect of his game.
"I used to practise them at Leopards. Before training sessions I used to practise how to take free-kicks, penalties and even corner kicks. I was forcing everything. I used to carry cones and arrive early in the gym."