Unhappy new year for PSL's forgotten
EVEN a reckless crystal-ball gazer would struggle to predict what the future holds for some hapless PSL players who have endured a nightmarish season so far.
While injury has wreaked havoc with a few careers, loss of form and a failure to settle in at new teams contributed to several star players having a terrible season.
It's been a frustrating one for the likes of Papi Zothwane, the forgotten Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, Orlando Pirates' duo Mark Mayambela and Robyn Johannes, Musa Nyatama of Sundowns, Wits' Erwin Isaacs and OJ Mabizela, George Maluleke and Mabhuti Khenyeza of Supersport United, Kaizer Chiefs' duo Sthembiso Ncgobo and Lucky Khune, and Golden Arrows' Clifford Ngobeni.
It's unclear if Zothwane holds any hope of playing professional football again after enduring three lousy seasons.
With his Downs contract set for expiry in June, Zothwane has faded in the memories of his fans, much like Julius Malema's political career.
Former national under 23 captain Johannes, who's been battling a knee injury, hasn't featured for Bucs this season and the chances of a possible transfer in the January window period are slim.
The narrative has been that Mayambela's time at Bucs has come to an end, the playmaker having failed to impress Roger de Sa and his predecessors Julio Leal and Augusto Palacios in the past two seasons.
Not much is expected to change for Ncgobo at Amakhosi after his depressing spell under Stuart Baxter, which is likely to have left his confidence in tatters.
It's been similarly dejecting for young teammate Lucky Khune, who has been in limbo after being let go at the end of season.
There is a glimmer of hope for neglected Nyatama at Sundowns following the arrival of Pitso Mosimane at Chloorkop.
It was under Mosimane that Nyatama earned a rare Bafana Bafana call-up and the midfield kingpin could reasonably hold on to that glimmer of hope.
But not so for Isaacs, who is said to be working his way out of Wits already, possibly to Chippa United.
Khenyeza has gone missing at United, reinforcing the belief that the striker's bad behaviour will be the ruin of his career.
Young Maluleke has only to look at his exclusion from the Bafana Afcon team as a sign of things to come.