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Rudolph Seale: It’s a pity Kaizer Chiefs had to part ways with Hendrick Ekstein

14:12 EAT 26/04/2019
Gustavo Paez of Kaizer Chiefs September 2018
The Amakhosi legend has been surprised by Ekstein’s departure, but he hails the decision to let go of Paez

Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Rudolph Seale says it’s a pity the Soweto giants had to part ways with Hendrick Ekstein.

Seale believes the club decided to release the player based on salary demands, however, he says they should have kept him until the Nedbank Cup final next month.

“Okay it’s difficult to make a comment on this because just like the fans, we are outsiders and we may never know what transpired in the negotiations,” Seale told Goal.

“Maybe the club felt we cannot afford you and he felt let me move on and seek greener pastures because football is a short career in the end. They say you must make the most of it whilst you can,” he added.

The 28-year-old was starting to flourish under manager Ernst Middendorp having played 23 games for Chiefs - scoring three times in all competitions.

“However, it’s a pity Chiefs parted ways with such a fine talented player, he was starting to blossom under coach Ernst and I think the club acted in their best interests,” noted the legend.

Ekstein’s contract was set to expire in June this year and some Chiefs fans feel that the club acted harshly by releasing him with two months left on his deal.

“I understand the fans may be unhappy but Chiefs are also running a business and there are clauses in every contract. Maybe the clause was to release him before it ends and possibly hope to make some money out of it fearing he might leave as a free agent - we don't know,” continued the Soweto-born legend.

“On the other hand, Chiefs management might have said look, we are no pushovers in this business, we are not here by fluke in the end. Perhaps they also thought of not going to the final with an interrupted squad that has some of the players thinking about their futures elsewhere,” reflected.

“We all know the final is not going be easy to lose, Chiefs cannot afford to lose this one. It will be an embarrassment to lose to Galaxy because it’s been a while not winning a trophy,” reacted the former SuperSport United defender.

“We know the management runs the team and the coach can only make recommendations, but when it comes to negotiations it’s something different. The club may feel that we have other players on our payroll and we cannot afford to jeopardise our planning because of one player,” he said.

“It’s difficult for the coach because the coach cannot say I want this player to get a new contract no matter how much you admire him, but on the other hand people may criticise the coach if he fails to win things forgetting that he was stripped of his best players – it’s a double-edged sword,” he admitted.

In addition, Seale says Venezuelan striker Gustavo Paez has failed to make the best out of his stay at Naturena because a foreigner is expected to bring something extraordinary in the team.

“I haven’t seen much of him, but I think a foreigner must give his best and offer something we don't have locally,” he responded.

“In my opinion, he was average for Chiefs and I believe his salary could help to pay two or three players that may be promoted from the development,” said Seale.

“I would also like to see the coaches from the youth structures reaping the rewards by seeing their products doing well in the first team,” he concluded.