- Mbwando urges former footballers to be innovative
FORMER Warriors’ right back George Mbwando has torn into the popular view of accusing football clubs and associations of neglect saying players should start preparing for life after football before the final whistle.
Former players have consistently claimed they are not receiving the respect they deserve from the Zimbabwe Football Association and the clubs they played for.
However, Mbwando believes former footballers should remove the star-status mentality they had as players and accept they are no longer living in the fast lane.
“When you are still playing you are the darling of everyone…you get pats on your shoulder, everyone knows you and everyone wants to associate with you,” Mbwando wrote on his Facebook page.
“Most former footballers go into hiding after their careers end because if you are not playing anymore people forget you very fast (sic) which is very normal,” he continued.
Mbwando said his heart bleeds to read stories “back home that when a former footballer dies there is always an outcry that teams are neglecting their former players who die in poverty.“
“If a contract ends on the 31 of June on the 1st of July the club has nothing to do with you anymore…How can a club in Zimbabwe help a team legend when they are struggling to help those that are playing now?” Mbwando questioned.
A combination of bad investments and failure to tailor spending habits to financial circumstances has been at the centre of former footballers’ bankruptcies.
“Former players need to change their mindset and know if I am not offering the club anything anymore why should I expect anything. Instead I should try to use my popularity for my hustle after the game, using the advantage to myself. If I am selling cabbages in bulk I have more chances of selling more because people know me already, as long as everything is honestly done, one can lead a good normal life affording all the basic needs, which is enough,” Mbwando said.
“But the barrier is always the mindset ‘inini kutengesa macabbage?’but not knowing that its not about the product that you sell but what comes out of it. We always think whatever we do must be something special which is a wrong mentality all in all. Former players sit on top of potential opportunities and do not know it. I’ m also a former player i know exactly what I’m talking about and I’m not trying to say I’m better than any other former footballers but its time to break the barriers,” he concluded.
After retiring, Mbwando who represented the country at its maiden AFCON finals in Tunisia in 2004, went back to school and attained a qualification in technical engineering.
The former Blackpool and Zimbabwe striker is now working as a technician in oil refineries in Germany.