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EXCLUSIVE: UK-based Dino Visser shares pain on the state of football in Limpopo

Former Polokwane City and Black leopards goalkeeper Dino Visser recently chatted to Entertainment SA Sports and shared his pain to see more Limpopo clubs getting relegated.

The likes of Lidoda Duvha, Rise and Shine including Baroka are now in the GladAfrica Championship but he hopes things will get better.

The United Kingdom-based Limpopo-born net minder also turned out for Platinum Stars in the DStv Premiership before the club was sold and renamed Cape Umoya United.

Speaking from his base in the United Kingdom where he played for teams such as Exeter City FC, Port Vale, and Crewe Alexandra, the 32-year-old says he is still dreaming of a move back home.

He also expressed his views on Mamelodi Sundowns’ recent success in the top flight division, saying they are trend setters.

“It’s tough to see man because at a stage we had quite a few clubs represented in the PSL and now it’s only Marumo Gallants. No one can question the talent we have in Limpopo, so many players have come from there,” Visser told this website.

“Having played for a few of the Limpopo teams I think my biggest concern is how the club is run off the field. Unfortunately, many of them have not put up the right sort of infrastructure they need to run a professional football club, and often the imbalance of that eventually overflows onto the pitch. It’s sad to see but hopefully, things will improve.

“Well, there has been so much to learn since moving abroad. Each season I’ve been here has helped me grow tremendously as a player and develop my game in so many different facets. The game is much faster here, more technical, and very physical.

“It’s been great for me to move across here because I’ve been forced to push myself so much harder and improve in every area of my game in order to stay competitive and fight for pole position.

“I’ve been very fortunate that the three clubs I’ve played for have all been fantastic clubs and all three of them in my duration (whether me being there or not) have all been promoted to League 1 in the past three seasons. Each club has played a slightly different brand of football. I’m currently a free agent at the moment and am looking for a new club for this season.”

As the world of sports experienced the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, Visser explains how he coped under lockdown regulations on foreign soil.

“It wasn’t easy that’s for sure. Growing up I was fairly used to being away from home for long periods of time, being in boarding school and then signing my first professional contract at 18 I got used to only going home once a year but with the pandemic, you were never sure when you would get a chance to see your family and friends and that’s what made it especially difficult,” he added.

“It was three years before I got the chance to visit South Africa and spend some time with family.”

The former Cape Town Santos gloveman continued to share his future plans, saying retirement is not in his sights at the moment and that he would like to stay in England.

With Sundowns having claimed a treble and their fifth DStv Premiership trophy in the recent season, Visser believes the Brazilians can continue with their exploits in the next term.

“In this industry, it’s always difficult to predict the future, I would like to stay on here but I would never rule out coming back to SA as that’s home and I’d still like to play a few more seasons back home and share what I’ve learned with the up and coming youngsters,” he continued.

“I miss the sunny weather in South Africa that’s for sure and definitely the fans. We’re such a football-loving nation it’s hard not to enjoy our people. 

“I’ll be honest I don’t watch a lot of South African football while here but I’ve definitely kept up to date with how things are going.

“I think it’s fantastic what Sundowns have done over the last couple of years because they have set a benchmark and are refusing to lower their standards, forcing the rest of the teams and the league to step up the level of football which can only be a good thing for the country.”

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