Former Kaizer Chiefs star Fredericks on why he kept coming back to the PSL from Europe

Europe

The retired midfielder says homesickness isn’t what drove him to return to South Africa on three separate occasions as a player

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates midfielder Stanton Fredericks has revealed why he kept coming back to the PSL from Europe during his playing days. 

The now 42-year-old had three stints in Europe, with his first big break coming in 2000 when he joined Grasshopper Club Zurich in Switzerland

Fredericks said while playing for Grasshopper was a great opportunity for him, he had to return home after failing to agree to new financial terms with the club, and when he joined Amakhosi in 2001 he was recharging his batteries.        

“My first stint in Europe was a big learning curve,” Fredericks told Goal.

“I went to Grasshopper Zurich which was a big club in Switzerland – a great opportunity for me but I think financially, it just didn’t work out with the negotiations with my team.

“Now that taste of playing in Europe in a big team… coming back to Kaizer Chiefs, I always knew that’s where I wanted to be. So, I had to come back to South Africa and work hard, and this when I managed to get into the national team and I was able to go back to Europe.”

Fredericks would spend three seasons with the Glamour Boys before jetting off to Russia to sign for FC Moscow. 

However, he came back to the PSL again to sign for the Sea Robbers in 2006, and this time, he had different reasons, saying he desperately wanted to be part of the Bafana Bafana squad to represent South Africa at the Fifa World Cup finals in Germany.

Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for the global showpiece, however.

Fredericks’ final stint in Europe saw him move to Greece to sign for Pierikos, and this was after he was loaned out to SuperSport United by the Buccaneers.   

“Going back there, it’s not like I wanted to come back [to the PSL] but there’s one thing that made me come back just before the 2006 World Cup in Germany. I wanted to represent my country at the World Cup,” he revealed. 

“So, being overseas in Russia, playing for FC Moscow, I wasn’t selected for the national team and I really wanted to play at the highest level possible. So, that decision to come back, to have the coach look at you and again see your abilities and hopefully get back into the national team, was the reason for me coming back. 

“So, that was always the reason to try and knock on the door.”

He stayed in Greece for three years before returning to South Africa a third time, this time to join Bidvest Wits, where he spent a further three years before finally hanging up his boots in 2013.

Without criticising the South African league, Fredericks concluded by saying he would choose Europe any day if he had an opportunity to turn back the hands of time. 

“If I had a choice to ride again, Europe is where you want to be and I am not slamming South Africa – the level is really getting better in terms of coaching and players – but Europe is where you’ve got to be,” added Fredericks.    

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