Stuart Baxter gives instructions to Siyabonga Nkosi during a Kaizer Chiefs match in 2015, when both were still employed by the club. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - I was very fortunate to have got the opportunity to play in the Bundesliga. Of course it was not as long as I would have wanted to, but the experience was incredible.

It was very hard to adapt because that league is in a different class from what we have here - the standard is much higher. And it is for this reason that I wish our clubs here at home could find ways to form some kind of partnerships with clubs in Germany. 

We need to have the kind of relationships that used to exist between Ajax Cape Town and Ajax Amsterdam. It was because of that relationship that players such as Benni (McCarthy), Aaron (Mokoena) and Schillo (Steven Pienaar) had such successful careers in Europe.

Those guys were fortunate to go to Europe at an early age and because of that they found it easier to adapt to the standard of football there. My experience in Germany taught me that it will be hard for any player to make it if you went there late in your career.

The game in the Bundesliga just did not allow for the kind of football I grew up on, the type where you had the time for a first touch and to even look around before you passed the ball.

Besides the speed with which they close you down, there was also the pitch factor. Their surfaces there are unlike here, they are sleek and soft and I found that I had to change my way of playing. I had to play quick one twos and learn to play in open spaces.

And because they (Armenia Bielefeld) signed me as an established player, their expectations was for me to hit the ground-running and deliver. But it was hard.

It is for this reason that I believe our clubs should find a way to partner with clubs in Europe, and the Bundesliga in particular. If we could have a lot of our youngsters going there early, we will see vast improvement to our game.

After all Germany is big on development. You see it in the way they are continuously churning out new talent for their national team and the clubs as well.

They spare no costs when it comes to infrastructure for development and investing in the young players. Even the so-called smaller clubs make big investment on development.

How grand it would be if we were to develop that attitude here at home?

Nkosi played for Armenia Bielefeld in the 2007/08 season. He is currently an analyst on SuperSport

The Star

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