Throwback Thursday: Lungisani Ndlela


Many players struggle financially after hanging up their boots and Ndlela feels more needs to be done to address this.

The 37-year-old says the most he earned as a footballer was R70 000 while on the books of the Brazilians.

"Even during our time there was a lot of money in football,” Ndlela tells

"It only depends on how you balance your things. Saving money is not difficult as long as you make time and visit a financial adviser, just like the way it is done overseas. Know your needs so you can manage them properly, but to be honest sometimes here at home it's not like that, you see.

"If we can get agents or some people who will deduct some of your money every month and save it for your retirement, it would be good because it's easy to misuse all of your money when it comes straight to your pocket. You are tempted to buy this and that."

These days the former Bafana Bafana international works as a correctional services officer at Witbank's Paxton Prison. His duties include transporting criminals to the Middelburg Magistrates Court.

Ndlela says he is popular among offenders and colleagues alike.

"The offenders don't give me that much trouble, I can handle them," he says. When [Rainer] Zobel [former Swallows coach] started to give me trouble at Swallows I decided to apply in many places. Fortunately bangibiza la e Witbank [they called me in Witbank]. I was hired while I was still playing for Swallows.

"I discuss football with my colleagues, people love me here. Football contracts ends while here I will work for the rest of my life, my future is guaranteed here. I am not married yet but I'm working towards that. I will get married soon, I do have two children. My boy likes his soccer very much.

Ndlela says he has no regrets from his professional career.

"I don't regret anything. It's just that sometimes as a player it happens that when you get an opportunity to go overseas there are always those who will block your chances. But I enjoyed myself while I was still playing, it was good as I played for big teams and I received a lot of support."

However, Ndlela’s time at Sundowns was difficult because he did not get much game-time.

"I only got some game-time in Africa when we played CAF games. The reason I signed with Sundowns was because they were the only team that approached me during that time. They were in need for a striker and they were interested in me.

"It's not like I was scared to join [Orlando] Pirates or [Kaizer] Chiefs, but I chose Sundowns regardless of the competition for positions that was there. Sometimes as a player to see how good you are you must fight for positions with the best players."

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