Former AmaGlug-glug hero Daniel Matsau has reflected on a career which promised so much, but which ultimately fell short due to injury setbacks.
The diminutive striker scored four goals during the qualifying for the 2000 Olympic Games, including the match-winner in the second-leg play-off decider against New Zealand at Vosloorus.
‘Massaro’ says he never let his small frame get him down; in fact, he made it work in his favour.
“I was quick,” he told KickOff.com. “I could jump at any height, I could fight for anything. I was sharp, I could do anything with my body, I had a big heart. I was not telling myself that I'm short. I had power in my legs. I was scoring more goals with my head than with my legs.”
Matsau seemingly had the world at his feet, but a leg injury set him back, and he was never quite the same player when he returned.
“I went to Chiefs from Under-20, and they loaned me to Celtic,” he reflects. “Then from Celtic I went back to Chiefs, then I got a bad injury when I went to the national team. I broke my shin.
“I spent almost two years not playing competitive football. When my contract with Chiefs was terminated, I went to Hellenic. Then I went to SuperSport, and they loaned me to Swallows, then from Swallows I got a bad injury again, I broke my knee.
“That's when everything started falling apart. After playing for a Mpumalanga side that bought a status from a Limpopo team, I went to Matlosane City and that's where I retired.”
Now 43, Matsau is struggling to make ends meet.
“I’m struggling to find a job, you know. I’m coaching my team in the SAB. So I'm busy trying to develop the boys here in my location and in my region.
“I'm not working, but I'm still looking to find a job this side. I know I'm not alone; there's too many who are not working this side but busy with development, doing what they know best which is football.
“But like said, to put food on the table it's very hard as I'm not working. I've got a CAF D licence. It's very hard, it's very difficult.”