In what many have assumed to perhaps be the latest case of "Going AWOL" or on a "Drinking Spree" by another South African elite football player, the case of Goodman Mosele is actually a rather sad case.
21 year old Mosele couldn't turn out for Bafana Bafana after receiving a national team call up, due to what has been termed by those who know better as "Social/Performance Anxiety", no matter any kind of description or sub category, anxiety and depression are still very serious issues of which in recent years we've seen a wave of such cases from many athletes in different sports, some notable examples could be those of gymnast Simone Biles as well as tennis prodigy Naomi Osaka, both these athlete have come out recently to express their issues in terms of Mental Health and how being at the top level of their respective sports has affected their mental strength.
It is worth noting that both Osaka and Biles have performed at the highest level and given their best, and this is also a common experience for Mosele who is the reigning PSL Young Player Of The Season.
Mosele also found himself being a marquee signing for Orlando Pirates at the back of what many dubbed a dismal campaign for him at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, all of these have happened in a short space of time and for someone as young as Mosele they surely can be overwhelming, as the pressure is now paramount on him to perhaps even change the situation at Orlando Pirates and deliver the elusive league title, with the absence of players like Thembinkosi Lorch and Zakhele Lepasa ( due to injury ) as well as the departure of Josef Zinnbauer, the pressure on Mosele is bigger than ever and all this could be the main reason why Mosele sadly couldn't make it for Bafana Bafana.
The 21 year old midfield prodigy perhaps needed a break of some sort to cope with the anxiety and avoid burning out, and even though questions have been raised at the manner in which he handled the situation and whether or not his representatives are beneficial for him, the truth of the matter is that no national team call up is worth more than his mental health and thus his club as well as his representatives need to step in to help Mosele recover from what could be a drastic experience in his life and career.
This matter has certainly raised awareness on the importance of putting life before football or any other sports and perhaps given us ( the whole football fraternity ) an opportunity to reflect on the toxicity of the beautiful game and how we need to reduce this, to enable a better environment for our athletes.
In conclusion, I'd firstly like to wish Mosele a speedy recovery. Coming to what he needs to do in order to recover, I'd like to confess that I'm not an expert in these things however it goes without say that the right environment for him will be vital in his recovery and helping him to bounce back quicker, as well as an engagement with him by his club to assure their support, all of these are just the basics to help him cope with the anxiety and pressure as well as to help him understand his situation, even though we call all do more to help him.
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