Nazeer Allie credits discipline for longevity

Veteran Maritzburg United defender Nazeer Allie has put his longevity in the game down to the work he puts in off the field, which is being tested to the maximum during the lockdown.

Allie is in his 16th season as a professional, having also turned out for hometown club Ajax Cape Town and BidVest Wits.

At the age of 34 he remains a massive part of the Maritzburg set-up, where his experience and leadership has been vital this season.

“For me when I get the opportunity I just try to do the best for the club on the field,” he told his club’s website. “Or to just be there with the team and help them to improve by winning games. It’s about contributing to the team’s success and the direction the team wants to go in.

“I look after myself as well as I can. That’s keeping me going so far. It’s about discipline off the field, keeping my body in shape, doing the right things. That contributes to a longer career.”

He admits the lockdown presents a challenge in that players are used to training together, but doing so in isolation requires more focus and motivation.  

“It’s very difficult because as footballers we are used to training in a group. Now the training is a bit different, we get programs and have to do it individually. So it’s difficult but at least we stay inside and keep safe. So we have to keep out discipline with that.”

He says the side has kicked on well since the start of the campaign where they failed to win in their first five games, making the Telkom Knockout final and climbing up to fifth in the league table before the pause to the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the start of the season it was a bit tricky, because we drew and lost in our first five games,” he said. “But after that we picked up momentum and started doing well, got some consistency. We were in the Telkom Knockout final, we could have won the cup final.

“But so far it’s been good, we’ve improved step by step. The break didn’t come at a good time for us because we were on a good run.”