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    Mbulelo Steto On How Football Changed His Life

    Mbulelo Steto
    Mbulelo Steto (Image: supplied)

    Mbulelo Steto is a 24-year-old young man, who grew up in Gugulethu, Cape Town. His first football academy was Great Commission United, and he then joined other teams like ProjectPlayGround. He did a stint in a Johannesburg club called Royal Lions, then played for semi-professional teams Atlantic Nacional and Amatuks Football Club’s second team.

    Like any player, a great number of setbacks affected Steto throughout his career. He suffered numerous injuries, and in fact defined himself as injury-prone, because he was injured in every club he joined. Other setbacks he faced were personal.

    “I could see that my career was not progressing how I wanted, because of the injuries I got. Reality hit that I don’t have a backup plan and I wasn’t sure how far my career will go. I decided to stop playing football and reshape my life. Thank God I am working for Old Mutual and IFA as a side hustle” he said.

    Throughout the hardship of his career, he still made amazing memories. He stated that his best memories were when he joined Amatuks Football Club. He said, “joining Amatuks was great for my career. The environment at Amatuks was amazing. I could feel the professionalism in the dressing room, and the level of intensity in training. That was when I knew I am on another level now”.

    “What stood out for me was the level of coaching and the level of preparation one has to put in. I was training with some of the players I saw on television”.

    Of course, there are also the off-field matters that footballers need to consider, and one of those factors is having a football agency.

    Steto believes football agencies play a part in shaping a footballer’s career and some footballers tend to forget that. He stated that there are times when a footballer will get a contract with a team, and he or she will sign because of the amount they see on the paper. They forget the other fundamental principles that they have to consider when signing a contract, and that’s where an agency is needed.  Agencies can negotiate and proof-read contracts before players sign. But there’s another side to having an agency – some of these agencies are just there to make a profit from their players.

    Steto shared that he had his fair share of such experience, “as much as an agency is needed… you must be careful of which agency represents you. I feel like my agency did 40% of the work and I did the rest. They only negotiated a deal for me when they sent me to Atlantic Nacional. I got an injury there and they never did a follow-up on me after that. The club dropped me because of my consistent injuries and when I was dropped my agency never followed up on me. I had to take care of that myself”.

    “I feel that played a part in the downfall of my career at Atlantic Nacional. I believe they should have done a follow-up on me as their client but they didn’t. That was the end of my career at the club”.

    “I can’t complain much, because I am happy with how my life turned out” he said.

    This article was written by Essential Millennial guest contributor, Likho Mpama. If you’d like to have your articles featured on Essential Millennial, email us at [email protected].

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