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Is the time right for Rivaldo Coetzee to leave Ajax Cape Town?

3:04 AM SGT 30/6/17
Rivaldo Coetzee
Coetzee has done enough for everyone to see that he deserves a break at one of the biggest clubs in the country, but who will afford him?

Rivaldo Coetzee is one of the players who’s shown an incredible amount of self-belief since making his PSL debut for Ajax Cape Town three seasons ago.

Despite being one of the youngest defenders in the league, Coetzee continues to make strides and he’s one of the senior players both at club and national team level.

He has played a big role for the Urban Warriors over the years, and he’s slowly becoming a big fish in a small pond at the Mother City club, especially because of the growing interest in his services.

At 20, Coetzee still has at least 15 good years in him, and he can choose to spend those years wisely by either moving to a bigger PSL club or look for a team in Europe.

His former teammate at Ajax, Abbubaker Mobara, is making waves at Orlando Pirates, and he’s undoubtedly one of their best players after just a season in Gauteng.

It took another former teammate in Keagan Dolly a season to attract European interest, and given his age, Coetzee could still be able to move to a bigger club, establish himself and move to Europe as it has become evident that his ultimate dream is to follow in the footsteps of Dolly whom he played with at Ajax.

Ajax are known as a selling-club from when they first made it into the PSL. The likes of Shaun Permall, Shaun Poggenpoel, Shaun Potgietter, David Kannemeyer, Steven Pienaar, Dominic Isaacs, Thulani Serero, Khama Billiat, Dolly and most recently Mobara among many others, were all sold.

This means any team that wants Coetzee has a 50% chance of getting him, provided they meet the asking price and the player is willing to move.

There’s no doubt that Coetzee understands the culture of Ajax now, and he obviously doesn’t need to move to another PSL team to seek recognition or play for Bafana Bafana.

However, he needs to be competing with the best players for him to reach his full potential. He needs more major trophies in his cabinet for his name to be engraved in the hearts of those who’ve been following his football career.

So far, he's only won the MTN8 title with Ajax, and that’s simply not good enough for a player of his calibre and talent, and if there's an opportunity for him to move, he should definitely consider it before it's too late. Martin Carelse, a former Amakhosi player, has already backed him to succeed at Naturena, and he's very much capable of realizing his dreams at the Soweto club. 

As much as moving to Europe may look enticing, the truth is that it's not going to be that easy for him to make a switch. The last player to move straight to Europe from Ajax was Serero, but that was six years ago, and Coetzee may require a miracle to emulate the now Vitesse Arnhem midfielder.  

So, Coetzee might as well consider a big move to one of the Gauteng clubs, but he needs to be smart in choosing his next destination. He has to go where his chances of winning titles, playing regular football and growing as a player would be enhanced.

Previously, the majority of the players from the Cape struggled when they moved to Gauteng, but it became evident that all making the right choice often breeds success.  

If Coetzee decides to move, he’d have to join to a club where he would be appreciated and used regularly because he is already an international player, who needs a push in the right direction to make it at any league in Europe in the next two to three years.    

So, the big question is not whether he’s ready for a move, but rather who can afford him. It's all up to Chiefs, Sundowns and Pirates to make the young man's dream come true.