Bevan Fransman has been around long enough to understand that as a 34-year-old footballer, the most important aspect to think of is family, while in the process securing their financial freedom.
After a successful second season, which marked the end of his two-year contract with Maritzburg United, Fransman didn’t think twice when a chance to join Tembisa-based club and PSL returnees Highlands Park came along.
This move was motivated by two factors: being closer to family as time is ticking on his career, and while securing a long-term deal with a club which will allow him to continue enjoying his football.
“I am 34 years of age, so I am not a spring chicken anymore,” Fransman said, during his unveiling together with other 11 signings.
“One has to look at a lot of factors and family is one of them, and that played a role (in my move to the club).
“Also, if you want to call a spade, a spade, I got a solid two-year deal at Highlands Park. So at my age, if you turn that down, you’d be a fool.”
In the current generation of players in the Premiership, Fransman is one of the most decorated after a 15-year professional career which included a four-year stint in the Israeli Premier League with Maccabi Nentanya and Hapoel Tel Aviv from 2008 -2014.
Surely that wealth of experience will come in handy if the “Lions of the North” are to roar loudly in top-fight football and avoid the one-season syndrome which saw them back in the second tier after their first promotion two seasons ago.
But the Cape Town-born defender acknowledges that it will take a team effort to be a force to be reckoned with.
“If we can get some belief into these young players then we can get something going as a team,’’ Fransman insisted.
“There’s a lot of inexperience in the team but they’ve worked together from the NFD (National First Division) all the way to PSL.
“It’s a young squad that’s really exciting.
“I think if we can have the same collective effort like they did last year in the NFD, then we should have a good defensive record.”
The former Chiefs, Swallows, SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic defender is a realistic type, stressing that they won’t hit the ground running in top-flight football after an impressive campaign in the NFD.
Hence, they’ll have to firstly adapt and set some tangible targets along the way.
“We can’t emulate what other teams have done - we have to set our targets and goals,” he explained.
“We have to be realistic. We can’t just say, ‘we’ll come and finish top-four’.
“It can’t happen overnight, it’s a building process. We need to put our efforts in the first few games and set a precedent for rest of the season.”
A week from now, Fransman and company know that they should be at least be halfway with finding the balance as a team, as they’ll be opening their 2018/19 campaign against PSL runners-up Orlando Pirates on August 4 at Orlando Stadium (8.15pm kick-off).@Mihlalibaleka