FORMER Chipolopolo winger Clifford Mulenga says young footballers must choose a decent lifestyle and listen to the advice given by experienced players in order to reach their desired potential.
Speaking in an interview, Monday, Mulenga said the kind of lifestyle players choose has a bearing on their performances.
Mulenga said listening to advice from experienced players and those that have been through the same experience helps one avoid making same mistakes.
“From my own experience, the regrets I have is that I did not learn from the experiences of other players who had been in my position before me. Therefore, the advice I always give to young promising talent is that they respect the experience of others and listen to advice,” Mulenga said.
“It’s important to talk to people that have been there before and learn how things should be done. The biggest problem for most young players is the lifestyle they live after money starts coming in. I feel there is need to learn early about money management and social responsibilities.”
The 2007 CAF young footballer of the year said fame comes with pressure hence the need for young players to strike a balance both on and off the pitch.
“Football is a short career and this means that as footballers we need to learn how to invest wisely and to save money for future use. With fame comes pressure to show off what people perceive footballers make financially and unfortunately, most of us fall victim to this trap,” he lamented.
Mulenga said the best way to balance everything is to choose wisely on the type of lifestyle to live and not allow society dictate one’s way of life.
He said it was about hard work on the pitch and discipline off it.
“First and foremost, it starts with self respect and discipline both on and off the pitch. Respect everyone around you and always listen to understand not to respond. One needs to be focused and dedicated to doing what they enjoy on the field of play,” said Mulenga.