Sports Legends with Jimmy Masingi
NAME: Thapelo Isaack
DATE OF BIRTH: 1979-04-20
WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING FOOTBALL?
I began playing football at a very young age, like most kids in the township. I attended Gordon Primary School, then moved to Mpumalanga province where I attended school at Hlabikisa Primary. After a year, I came back to Alex and continued my studies at Skeen primary school.
But the funny thing is, I didn’t play soccer at school. I later went to East Bank High for my senior studies.
I only started playing football in high school because by then, I had already started playing clubs football for a team called Alex Pama.
I forgot to mention that I also went to school in Limpopo at Lebowakgomo high.
HOW DID YOUR PROFFISIONAL BREAKTHROUGH CAME ABOUT?
I played for Alex United in the Vodacom League before joining Sporting FC. Owen Da-Gama spotted me at Sporting FC and recruited me to the Silver Stars. The rest is history.
HOW MANY PROFESSIONAL TEAMS HAVE YOU PLAYED FOR?
I’ve played for Silver Stars, Dynamos, Amazulu, Orlando Pirates and Thanda Royal Zulu.
DO YOU DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES?
Yes, I do sometimes.
DO YOU ATTEND CHURCH?
Yes I do attend church. I love God, because I’m nothing without him.
WHEN DID YOU RETIRE AND WHY?
I retired in 1999, because of football politics. And the desire to continue playing was no more there.
WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER YOU EVER PLAYED WITH?
I can’t mention one, but there are few of them. The likes of David ‘DVD’ Mathebula, Bernard ‘Di hond’ Parker, Gift ‘Continental’ Leremi, Teko ‘The general Modise’ Modise,Duku-Duku Makhanya and Surprise Moriri.
WHO WAS YOUR DIFFICULT OPPONENT?
That was Arthur ‘10111’ Zwane and Duku-Duku Makhanya. They gave me sleepless nights.
Playing against them made me double my efforts.
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER THESE DAYS?
I like left-footed players. I used to like Patrick Phungwayo and Rany Richards.
WHICH TEAM HAVE YOU PLAYED YOUR BEST SOCCER?
At Dynamos, because I had no problem with anything and I wanted to prove myself and compete with the best.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SOUTH AFRICAN SOCCER THESE DAYS?
Many things have changed in South African soccer. We lost our identity because of the foreign coaches.
The South African football style is flair and fun, but we lost all that. That’s why our stadiums are empty . But go to Tembisa Filly’s Games or MAP Games in Alex and compare the crowd with the PSL one, you will see the urge is different because people want to be entertained.