Former Orlando Pirates star Thabo Rakhale remains on the sidelines a year after parting ways with Sekhukhune United, and the dribbling wizard has revealed that searching for a club hasn’t been easy.
Although searching for a club is difficult, Rakhale is not considering retirement as he believes he still has much to offer to the beautiful game.
In an interview on Metro FM [Sports Night Amplified with Andile Ncube] on Wednesday night, the former Chippa United attacker stated he is struggling to find a new home due to misconceptions that he wants a big salary.
Rakhele also claimed that many teams say they cannot afford him because he played for big clubs such as Orlando Pirates.
“The disadvantage with me is that people assume that they cannot afford me just because of where I have been as a footballer, and I am not expensive. I just want to be given a chance,” said Rakhale.
“I was training with Platinum City Rovers for about three months, but they told me that they have a lot of players and cannot afford me, even though we never discussed money.
“No team has approached me. What matters to me is playing football and being on the field, I will play for any team whether in the DStv Premiership or not.
“I haven’t thought about retiring. I am still training and trying to keep fit.”
The Vanderbijlpark-born footballer is now back in his hometown [Vaal] and insists that it doesn’t matter what other people say about him being back home.
“I’ve never thought about what people will think about me being back home in the Vaal. If people can criticise [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, then who am I not to get criticised?” he asked.
He further explained that he thinks certain coaches don’t like his style of play, which he believes might be one of the reasons he is still without a club.
“So, I think some coaches don’t want players who play like me. But there are those who will even force you to play how you play,” revealed Rakhale.
“I was scared when I played under coach Muhsin [Ertugral] because he was from Europe. I thought I was going to the stands.
“Muhsin said to me, remember I coached Jabu Pule? I want to make you the next Jabu Pule [now known as Jabu Mahlangu].”
One of the coaches that were not a fan of Rakhale’s style of play at first was coach Eric Tinkler. However, he ended up loving his style of play since he noticed that it yielded fruitful results.
“Coach Eric Tinkler didn’t like my style of play until he realised that allowing me to play the way I know how to play would be good for the team,” explained the winger.
“Coach Eric Tinkler gave me a chance, and I became a household name under him.
“I was creating goals for Kermit [Erasmus], Thamsanqa [Gabuza] and Tendai [Ndoro] doing the same things people complain about.
“The way I played; I was always doing it for the team.”
The player says his foundation is what keeps him going during these hard times.
“I have been focusing on my foundation, which helps orphans, the elderly and people with disabilities,” he divulged.
“At least I can smile and have something I am proud of.
“Financially, it is tough, but my partner has been supportive through this difficult time. I can say I am coping.”
In his football career, Rakhale also represented teams such as Sivutsa Stars, Polokwane City, Chippa United and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.