Johannesburg – Former Bafana Bafana defender Morgan Gould has called it quits, leaving behind a formidable legacy on the field of play.
Gould bows out after a spell of 20 years in his professional career having made his debut in the South African topflight in 2001, as a young optimistic tall defender for Jomo Cosmos, under the tutelage of the master of talent scouting, Jomo Sono.
The 38-year-old penned down an emotional tribute to his football career, as he reflects how his journey began from his tender age.
“Bra J (Jomo Sono) said to me, ‘hey mfana, yes you, get ready, you are playing today’.
“I could not believe it! Here I was, an 18-year-old wet-behind-the-ears defender about to make my debut in the Premier Soccer League.
“I was ecstatic and shaking at the same time,” said the former Kaizer Chiefs defender with a smile lighting up his face.
Gould says these memories will forever be in his reminiscence diary.
As memories came flooding back, the Soweto-born star said he honours the privilege he received to make his name in the professional football.
“When a lot is expected from you, you may never match what you are expected to deliver, but when the least is expected – it is when you deliver more,” Gould says.
After leaving Ezenkosi (Jomo Cosmos) in 2008, he joined Matsatsantsa-A-Pitori (Supersport United), where he had two stints with them – from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2016 to 2019.
Following his departure from Matsatsantsa-A-Pitori, he joined Amakhosi (Kaizer Chiefs) for a period of four years from 2012 to 2016, later he rejoined SuperSport United.
Speaking about his nerve-wracking experience at the Amakhosi, Gould says his tenure had hiccups.
“My move to Chiefs had its ups and downs,” he states.
“After getting a lot of game time I got injured. When I resumed playing, I was at a point where people where doubting me and it played on my mind as I also started doubting myself, and that led to me trying to prove them wrong, when I should have just got on with my game,” addresses Gould.
“People come with expectations, and you end up wanting to live on those expectations. What I needed to do was to take a step back, reassess, start afresh and move forward, and not worry about what people said or thought,” Gould reveals.
Gould’s last gig in the PSL was with newcomers Stellenbosch FC, whom he served for one season, before reviving his professional career at Glad Africa 2020/2021 Champions Sekhukhune United.
He contributed heavily as he assisted the Stellies to secure promotion to the elite league, which makes him one of a few players who have won both the National First Division and Premier Soccer League titles.
Gould became part of the squad that featured in Bafana Bafana’s participation in 2009’s Confederation Cup but snubbed for 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“Every player wants to play for their country at the highest level and being in the squad brought so much joy to me, but not playing in the World Cup on home soil was a bitter pill to swallow,” said Gould with mixed emotions.
What’s the next chapter for Gould?
Although he will not be lost to the game, the esteemed defender eyes a coaching career beyond his retirement from the field of play.
“Right now, I am a bit emotional, but these are happy emotions because I know I gave my all, it’s time to step aside from the field and move on to the next chapter of my journey.
He currently works as Assistant Coach for Sekhukhune United’s FC’s reserve team, and he is looking forward to coach a major club in the elite league.
“This is just me changing positions, from playing to guiding. I am entering a new space for me, something different to what I am accustomed to,” he says.
He adds: “Now it is no longer about me the individual but about how I impact the next generation.”
He said: “As a player I knew this time would come, we all know we can’t play forever and I am grateful for all the opportunities that came my through this wonderful game,” he said.
Gould pays special tribute to friends, colleagues and family for warm-hearted support:
Gould says his family has been the pillar of his strength despite all his flows.
“I would not have made it on my own, so I would like to thank my family – especially my wife and kids who have been with me through the good and bad times.
He also gives gratitude to his friends, all the managers and coaches that worked with him “All I have worked with; my opponents, they helped me grow and become a better player than when I originally started.”
“How can I forget the fans, at times they criticized but not out of hate, but because they wanted the best out of me.
“All these structures were part of my journey, and without them, I would not have reached the little milestones I reached,” added Gould.
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