Former Maritzburg United winger Gabriel Nyoni has warned fellow footballers against the tendency of putting all their eggs in one basket of a football career, saying they must consider studying carpentry and plumbing to fall back on after retirement.
The ex-Cape Umoya Zimbabwean midfielder has issued the warning through his tweet, which has since sparked a healthy debate on social media platforms.
“To current soccer players, equip yourself with any of the following skills. Reality will strike you soon, prepare. Plumbing, tiling, carpentry, painting and roofing. No need to start over and get a degree most of the times its useless. Take these courses thank me later,” he wrote.
The former Highlanders player earlier touched on salary disparities between Zimbabwe and South Africa football, saying he could have made more money if he had spent more years playing outside his home country.
“Zim professional soccer player minimum salary R3000. SA professional soccer player minimum salary R25 000. This life, no balance. We need new leaders,” he said, adding, “Played for @HighlanderBosso and @capsunitedfczw, 2 big teams in Zim. If it was another country, I could have made a lot of money. But alas…”
In response, former Ajax Cape Town player, Milton Ncube, agreed with Nyoni’s observation that life after football was rough.
“No cap bro. Some of us are learning the hard way now. Equip yourself begore you find yourself in a deep hole!!!” he tweeted via @milton_j_ncube.
A twitter follower called Take Promise chipped in saying: “This is a very important issue that requires serious stakeholder engagement and support.”
Nyoni has given the unsolicited piece of advice to his peers, months after announcing his retirement from professional football due to an injury.
The winger fractured his foot while he was still playing for the now-defunct Cape Umoya United in the GladAfrica Championship last year February.
The 29-year-old footballer underwent a successful operation and had wires and screws medically inserted to hold the fractured bones together.
Unfortunately, the former Highlanders winger did not recover well.
“I have officially retired from football,” Nyoni wrote on his official Twitter account.
“Fourteen months of specialist and rehabilitation treatment hasn’t yielded the expected result. I tried my best. I appreciate all the support you gave me during my football career.”
Nyoni also represented teams such as CAPS United participating in the Zimbabwe top-flight league.