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Last week I had a fantatstic experience courtersy of the RCS Boys.Although I was way behind enemy teritory I was invited to go along with Rash BC,Yoonis and Hoza from RCS Sports to see the display of the 2010/211 EPL Trophy obviously won by Manchester United. It was a chance to check out the NIKE Perfomance centre in Soweto and hear the panel of Sean Bartlett, Quinton Fortune and Gary Baily

Bailey and Fortune share their experience

The duo addressed media,guests and players from the academy or Nike Development.I was impressed with the facility.Huge Astro pitches. Memorabilia walls and cabinets. Presentation area and studio. Nike is after all a global brand. For me personally as a football fan it was great to hear the experiences of these two even though I hate the MANCS. Here my rendering of their experience as Manchester United Players

Quinton Fortune

Fortune went to Manchester United from Atletico Madrid. He remembered an incident whilst warming up against Barcelona. He goes on to say that whilst warming up he looked around and seen players like Figo,Xavi and co…Yes they were playing against Barcelona. He then noticed this player warming up,thighs like tree trunks.A supreme athlete. It was Ronaldo. The coach at the time calls him and says in Spanish “Fortooooon”…You will be marking Ronaldo. Quinton later said that Ronaldo bagged a hat trick and marking him was so difficult. His quick turns,movement and pace.That is why Ronaldo was World Class.

I asked Quinton in a Q &A .What was it like playing with Roy Keane. He went on to say that Keane was a man that gave 100 percent. He said Roy Keane wouldnt talk to you if your lost in training and the man was all heart. Some times hed have a go at half time and Sir Alex would step in and say Roy, Im the Gaffer here. But what a man Keane was. A great man to have your team.

He also mentioned the arrival of Christiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford. He say Ronni walked in chest out and said I will be the best. To which the players shrugged it off. He told the youngsters when you have the opportunity its about how far you want to go and how urgently you want to get there.

He said after every training session Ronaldo used to put on ankle weights and do step overs for over an hour. He goes on to say that even Becks used to practice bombing free kicks after training. He told the youngsters its how bad you want it and how much extra you will go.

Of Sir Alex he said a great leader and a great man. He recalls a incident when he stepped out of a 50/50 and Sir Alex calls him and said “Son if you ever want to play for Manchester United again you will never step out of a 50/50 challenge again

Gary Bailey

The first question I asked Gary was how important was Liverpool vs United lols. Bailey went on to say of how fierce the rivalries were and makes mention of coins thrown at him during his days at Man United. He also goes on to say how special playing at Old Trafford was. Bailey knocked on the gates of United and asked for a trial believe it or not. He was trialed and immediately inserted into the team as keeper. The existing 6th choice keeper was then told to leave. Bailey remembers how his friends said that if he doesn’t perform he would be in trouble as he had got their friend out. He was told to step up. He also makes mention of the cold in England and how once he broke his finger and only realised once he was in the change room and warm. He didn’t feel a thing in the cold. He like Quinton Fortune underlined the commitment and dedication needed to play at the highest level. He said he used to practice in his hotel room with a tennis ball and colleagues looked at him as if her were mad jumping on the bed bouncing the tennis ball of the walls.

Bailey,Fortune and Sean Bartlett urged the youngsters that given the opportunities they have today they should focus and give heart and soul. Opportunities and structures are way better now than in previous years.

For me it was fantastic for Swoosh0018 and I always admire and treasure such experiences.


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