Wayne Arendse hasn’t kicked a ball in a competitive match in almost two years, and the former Mamelodi Sundowns captain remains on the sidelines as he looks for a club.
The search hasn’t been easy due to his age, but the veteran defender feels he still has a lot to offer.
“I feel that I am physically fit, mentally strong; I can do the business, but once you reach a certain age, they just write you off,” said Arendse in an interview on the Ultimate Sports Show.
“It is not about the ability; it goes down to age, so it is the age factor that scares people away.
“In my career, I haven’t moved around, I came to Sundowns and it is my first time I have been out of football and I never thought it would be this difficult (to find a club),” added Arendse, who joined Sundowns in 2012 from Santos and went on win five league titles, the Caf Champions League, and Caf Super Cup.
The 37-old-old is a free agent and can join any club at any given time.
“I am still hopeful, but if nothing comes up, then I will have to find another avenue. If nothing comes up this season, then I will consider hanging up my boots and focus on something else,” added the clubless defender.
“I want to play, but obviously, it becomes hard when you reach a certain age, but I still have a lot to offer. And there is that perception that once you come from Sundowns, you’re in a different tax bracket, but for me, it’s not about the money because I’ve made my money in football and won cups. I want to enjoy football.”
Arendse reiterated that in South African football, once you get to a particular age, you are deemed surplus to requirement compared to Europe, where older players are valued. He made reference to Chelsea’s defender Thiago Silva (37). Other examples would be Cristiano Ronaldo (36) Davi Alves (38).
“Thiago Silva is old and doesn’t have the speed anymore, but you look at how he reads the game, and timing is everything,” explained Arendse.
“You have George [Lebese] who doesn’t have a team. Shabba [Siphiwe Tshabalala] hasn’t retired, but Thiago Silva is playing at Chelsea. Sulley Muntari has just signed for a team in Ghana, but here in South Africa, it’s different,” concluded Arendse.