Throwback Thursday: Raymond Seneo

Premiership

Raymond Seneo retired from playing football in 2011 at the age of 35, and at the time he thought he was only taking a six-month break.

The 43-year-old is a former Jomo Cosmos, Black Leopards, Moroka Swallows and Golden Arrows centre-back whose last team was Platinum Stars in 2006.

He was part of the seven players that were unveiled by Sundowns in 2004 together with the likes of Brian Baloyi, Josta Dladla, Neil Winstanely, Surprise Moriri, Vuyo Mere and Thabiso Rammile.

"For me personally I think I retired too early," Seneo tells KickOff.com.

"When Owen Da Gama released me at Platinum Stars I could still compete with the young boys. I decided to focus on my other project for about six months and thought then I will come back, but eventually I ended up focusing a lot more on it. I didn't plan to retire actually but I ended up retiring.

"I enjoyed my football at three teams. At [Moroka] Swallows I was always playing unless I was injured, Gavin Hunt understood me very well. At Black Leopards the team spirit was powerful there, we had a bunch of youngsters who wanted to make a name for themselves. At Sundowns we had a very good bunch of players as well, we had many leaders in that team and their style of play suited me very well.

"I've always admired Sundowns since a young age, even though I supported Kaizer Chiefs. But I admired Sundowns' style of play. I remember I got a call from Lucas Sebona who had just left Swallows for Sundowns... honestly speaking I never had a bad game against Sundowns. I have always excelled against Sundowns.

"Apparently they used Sebona to get to me. Sebona was the one who phoned the Swallows bus driver asking for my number, telling me the Sundowns people were looking for me... the next thing I got a call from Paul Dolezar. At Sundowns that's where I got paid a lot by far. I think I tripled my salary there actually. It made a difference actually in my life you see."

These days the Bezuidenhoutville-based Seneo runs a football club that campaigns in the Germiston SAB League.

"My friend convinced me to start a project where we trained young boys who did not have teams, or those who have been released by academies. We were trying to expose that talent to other teams and increase their chances of being signed. Gradually I focused on that project up until [Mpumalanga] Black Aces recruited me," he explains.

"After I did my coaching course the head of the academy contacted me there, so I stayed there for four years at Aces coaching in their academy. I left early this year because I ended up buying a team that plays in the Castle League. Currently I'm owning this team in Germiston City and I'm also coaching there. The whole concept is for developing players, not necessarily to fight for the league."

Seneo says he only has one regret in life.

"I regret hanging up my boots while still active and highly competitive. If you look at guys like [Siyabonga] Nomvethe, I think I have the physical attributes like him. I think I didn't swallow my pride and go back and try, otherwise I would have played longer." 

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