DURBAN – Rodney Ramagalela has really suffered for refusing to renew his contract with Polokwane City.
His deal with the club expires in June. The lanky forward has already penned a pre-contract with Highlands Park.
City have opted against using him since he refused to sign a new deal.
But the coach at Highlands, Owen da Gama, is not worried that Ramagalela will join his troops in June in poor condition.
“I don’t think so (that he will come in a bad condition) – he is a player with the right mentality. I know him from Venda. I know him personally, he doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke. He is a hard worker. Those are the type of players that you want to bring in,” Da Gama said.
Ramagalela has been one of the most consistent performers in the last two seasons. Last season, he shared the Golden Boot gong with Percy Tau.
“Unfortunately in football, there are those teams – and I’m not being specific here referring to Ramagalela – they don’t do pre-contract.
“They take it for granted that the player is there. When an agent arranges a pre-contract for him, they just damage the boy.
“I think it is very, very unfair to players. I mean, we don’t allow players to get there. When a player is left with a one-and-a-half-year contract, we renew his contract. That’s how it works overseas. We are hoping that sanity will prevail, and they will allow Ramagalela to play,” he said.
The Lions of the North are still assessing former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana midfielder Mandla Masango, but they haven’t made a decision as yet.
“We have another big friendly on Monday (today) and Wednesday. He hasn’t been playing. We want him to get as fit as possible for him to have the best possible chance (of signing).
— Highlands Park FC (@HighlandsP_FC) February 4, 2019
“There are a lot of top players who haven’t played for months, and then they don’t look the same. Sometimes you feel they are finished just because they are not fit,” Da Gama said.
He was left dejected by his side’s 2-1 loss to Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont in an Absa Premiership encounter.
“On the day, so many players were not on top of their game. Sekola (Moeketsi) was not on top of his game. Mbatha (Lindokuhle) was not on top of his game. Ryan (Rae) was not on top of his game. Mothobi (Mvala) was not on top of his game.
“When you get three or four of your top players not on top of their game, it makes it difficult.
“Unfortunately, these types of games happen. We’ve just got to grow very, very quickly,” Da Gama said.