Bernard Parker has reflected on his brief stint with the Mamelodi Sundowns reserve team and how they missed out on him.

‘Die Hond’, as he’s well-known, is one of the renowned players that came out of SAFA School of Excellence.

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Some of the SA’s best talents that the school has produced include Steven Pienaar, Bryce Moon, and Daine Klate.

Parker joined Sundowns reserve side after completing matric. He says he signed on a “piece of paper” and the club promised him that he would earn R5 000.

He recalled the rough patch he went through, struggling to get to Chloorkop after he was no longer getting a lift from Khabo Zondo who was also working at Sundowns at the time.

Speaking with Luyolo Bhambatha on Diski Talk With Luyolo, Parker says he stopped training with the Tshwane giants because he had no financial back up.

“Just before I completed my matric, coach Khabo Zondo said ‘when you’re done with your Matric, I would like you to come and train with the reserves and sometimes you’ll be with a senior team’,” he recalled.

“I completed my Matric and coach Khabo lived in Vosloorus, close to where I lived, and on his way to Chloorkop he would pick me up. So, I would meet him at a certain corner.

“I was in the reserve team and the senior team had a lot of stars. Tso Vilakazi, Gift Leremi, Sipho Nunens, Peter Ndlovu, Fabian McCarthy, and the team was just full of stars. And they said we will only be promoting next year.

“So, I held it out, but then coach Khabo couldn’t bring me to training anymore because now the training and his schedule were different. I had to take trains or four taxis coming from Boksburg to Chloorkop.

“And it was difficult because, at that time, mom was struggling. She didn’t have anything and dad was nowhere to be found. With the little she had, sometimes I would miss training because I wouldn’t get there.

“When we approached and asked if they could little bit [help] me in terms of transport. They kept promising and promising. I just couldn’t make it anymore and I stayed home.”

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While he was at home, Benoni Premier United then came knocking for his services, and that’s when his career started to take off.

Parker also had stints with Red Star, FC Twente, Panserraikos [loan], and Kaizer Chiefs, and now is plying his trade at TS Galaxy.


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