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I'm writing a new chapter‚ says once written-off Gould after Bafana recall

25 August 2017 - 15:42 By Marc Strydom
SuperSport United defender Morgan Gould (in blue) clears the ball from Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs during the cup quarterfinals in Durban yesterdayPicture: Gallo Images
SuperSport United defender Morgan Gould (in blue) clears the ball from Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs during the cup quarterfinals in Durban yesterdayPicture: Gallo Images

“Bleep‚ no‚” said Morgan Gould‚ politely substituting a swear word‚ on whether he wrote himself off in an injury-prone period that seemed to indicate there was very little left for the 2010 World Cup-squad member to give in football.

This past season Gould was SuperSport United’s player of the season after a transfer to the Pretoria club two seasons ago that raised eyebrows‚ so injury-prone had the centreback become at Kaizer Chiefs.

This week Stuart Baxter‚ the coach who won league and cup trophies with Gould at Chiefs‚ handing the defender a “dreamcatcher” award at the end of Amakhosi’s hugely successful 2014-15 season for his heart in a particularly crocked season‚ then oversaw his rehabilitation at SuperSport‚ called Gould Back to Bafana Bafana.

Gould admitted the path back to being one of SA’s best centrebacks has not been easy.

“Firstly it’s very taxing on the body. But as a footballer and athlete you need to endure because this life comes only once‚” he said.

“Footballers lives are between five‚ 10‚ 15 years – of you’re lucky you get more.

“I don’t like to say live for tomorrow. You live for today and tomorrow will see itself out.

“Life for me is good because I’m doing what I love‚ and enjoying the environment and challenges being thrown our way as SuperSport.”

The storm that 34-year-old Gould's call-up met in some quarters does bring into question just how educated some armchair supporters in SA really are.

Baxter has Thulani Hlatshwayo and a recently shaky Mulomowandau Mathoho as his frontline centrebacks for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde.

Behind that‚ with Buhle Mkwhanazi injured‚ as one of the country’s most in-form central defenders Gould provides far safer cover than Rivaldo Coetzee or Lorenzo Gordinho.

Visions 2018 and 2022 will mean nothing if Bafana do not qualify.

Gould whistled‚ asked about his recall to Bafana.

“Nah‚ guys‚ I tell you what I’m ecstatic. To me it’s my first call-up‚” he said.

“Being out of the national team for four years‚ that cuts your supply. And to be recalled – for me‚ I’m going to take it as a nobody‚ as if I haven’t been there. I’m going to give what I need to give for the nation.

“And I’ve done it for SuperSport‚ so hopefully that will just filter in when I’m needed.

“The guys have been doing an exceptional job. If my experience is needed on a day‚ I’ll try and use it to my advantage.”

It is Gould’s appraisal of what it has taken to make his comeback that points to a new maturity that can be indispensable to this emerging Bafana side of such potential.

“It’s not about the medical staff‚ my friend. To be honest‚ I’m going to be very frank and say that it’s about the mental strength that I have‚” he said.

“The support staff that I have in my family‚ and the critics. Even you guys (the media) spur me on.

“We might not say it to you guys. Just taking a minute speaking to you means a lot. Because it tells you that there’s so much that you guys expect of us‚ and the potential that we have.

“You know‚ people tend to think‚ ‘Ah no‚ people have written me off and let me write myself off’.

"And no‚ you write your own book and I wrote my own book and I’m still trying to improve on the spelling mistakes and errors in it.

“You’re the author of your own book and at the end of the day the story must come out. And what better way to show people that‚ ‘Yes‚ I made my mistakes in life’. I’m writing a new chapter – a new book.

“Being injury-prone‚ it’s like if you get setbacks in your career. There’s so many new kids on the block and they do your job better than what you do.

“But if you’re still in there and still hungry to still produce‚ and write a good story and continue doing it‚ don’t take the short cuts‚ then the work will speak for itself in the end.”

- TimesLIVE