Steven Pienaar confident of coping with Premier Soccer League demands for at least two years
Posted: 20 June 2017 Time: 15:32
Veteran midfielder Steven Pienaar feels he will be able to last the entire distance in domestic football if he plays in central midfield.
Schillo has already made it known that he will definitely want to be playing in the PSL next season, after spending the last 16 years plying his trade in Europe.
A decade of that time was spent in the English Premier League, where he has played for Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland, the latter with whom he made 17 appearances last season.
While there have been those that have doubts about the 35-year-old’s physical condition, he insists all he needs is to play in the centre of the park.
“If I stay fit and play as a central midfielder then I won’t get injured,” Pienaar tells KickOff.com, in response to a question about coping with the demands of a 30-game Absa Premiership season.
“Obviously playing in the [English] Premiership, the physicality of the league is different than anywhere else in the world so that played a factor [with regards to injuries]. Then, with me being this small I took a few bruises over the years so obviously, maybe [I have] two years maximum [left in me],” he says.
While many former PSL stars tend to talk about how much the standards in the local league have dropped, ‘Schillo’ feels otherwise, having last played at home as a teenager back in 2001.
“Obviously the standards have gone up now, compared to the time when l last played here. I was a kid at the time and had a lot of senior players that were keeping me us young kids in line," adds the former Ajax Cape Town star.
"Yes, there is a lot of money being pumped into football now and maybe that has changed the players’ mentality, though the challenge is always that when people are looking from outside they don’t know what players are going through every day.
"The people don’t know what problems the players have at home. We just see them in flashy cars and we think life is good. People don’t know that we are suffering and we are under pressure all the time; they only see the nice parts.”