Former professional football player now working as a video analyst for Pretoria Callies.
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Football has evolved over the years and new elements are introduced to make the beautiful game even more tactical. In this day and age, the real ground work behind a successful football team is done behind the scenes by the technical team consisting of doctors, Sports Massage Therapies (SMT’s) and video analysts to simplify the coach’s or manager’s duties. This week on The Village Mag we feature a former professional footballer who explains how education was important to his career and the decision to retire from playing at an early age. We focus also on what is it he does for a living to-date.

Mpho Maruping was born and bred in Tembisa in a home that loved football. He started playing football at grassroots level at the tender age of seven, and at age ten he joined the Orlando Pirates Development Academy where he stayed (in a boarding school) and played for five years before being told to leave. Mpho did not take rejection well and focused on school and told himself that he is done with football, until he was scouted playing school tournaments by Serame Letsoaka who was the U20 National Team Coach at the time and invited him to the national team.

Like many children, post his high school days, Mpho could not afford varsity and opted to play for a GladAfrica Championship team, then known as National first division (NFD) in Durban for a year until Sammy Troughton called him to come and play for the University of Pretoria Football Club (TUKS). He spent six years in the NFD with TUKS and eventually gained promotion to the Premier Soccer League (PSL). In his playing days Mpho played for Bloemfontein Celtics and the Free State Stars (both in PSL at the time), then five years later he played his last top flight football in the NFD for TS Sporting and Royal Eagles respectively before hanging up his boots because he was plagued with injuries and operations which derailed his football career.

Mpho Maruping studied photography and videography with the University of Pretoria, and little did he know that would come in handy for his career. He is now a video analyst and an assistant coach to Joel Masutha at Pretoria Callies in the top flight second tier division, the NFD. His job is to analyze the team, their opposition and plan strategy and approach on how they can capitalize on their mistakes and weaknesses. “It is not always easy getting the footage of the past games as most of our games are not broadcasted on television, but luckily now we can source for footage from SuperSports, from other opposition teams’ video analysts. It is all about building relationships with everyone’’ explained Mpho when asked about the most difficult challenge about his job.

Married with two kids, Mpho is a dedicated husband and his wife was very much instrumental in convincing him to have a tertiary qualification to fall back on, as we all know how short a football career is. Mpho stretched the importance of acquiring a formal (tertiary) qualification, it does not matter how little it is, as it will definitely come in handy one day. “Football is a short career” he said.   

Click here to listen to this interview.

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