Gould proves he's no 'has-been'

Gould picked up the big prize at the SuperSport United Awards evening on Monday, being crowned Player of the Season upon his immediate return to the club.

The powerful centre-back made over 30 starts across all competitions, helping Matsatsantsa reach the Telkom Knockout final, a fifth-place finish in the Absa Premiership and a Nedbank Cup title.

Following his struggles for game-time at his former employers Kaizer Chiefs, as well as his subsequent release at the end of 2015/16, many expected the big defender to play a bit-part role at United.

However, the 34-year-old defied his doubters as he commanded a regular place alongside Clayton Daniels to make history with his side by becoming the first club to successfully defend their Nedbank Cup crown.

“I came in with a point to prove, I’m not shy to say it. I’ll repeat, I came in to prove a point: ‘Beep' your age!” stated Gould. “If you still have it in you, you still have it in you.

“If you still have the hunger [then] continue. Never let the next person set an ultimatum for you. No one should set your goals for you because you know what you want, what you strive for and what you can achieve. That’s exactly what I tried to do here."

Upon receiving his award, Gould gracefully thanked his teammates and support staff at the club as he capped off a remarkable year since being discarded from Naturena, but has no hard feelings and explained how he managed to bounce back.

“I’m honoured to have been part of my former team [Chiefs], but I’m at another place and another time. I’ve been given an opportunity of a life-time,” said Gould.

“People don’t give you an opportunity after [the age of] 31. [SuperSport] took a risk – signed me on a free – what more can I thank them with than my hard work?

“Without my teammates, this wouldn’t have been possible. I don’t want to say it’s me, 'I’m the big boss’ – I came here with a mentality of a new player, new person, rejuvenated, and this [award] is what I’m showing.

“It’s to say, ‘rejuvenate yourself, forget what you were, don’t be a has-been but be a current’ – that was my biggest challenge, to be a current and not be bigger than the team or individuals."