Ralani’s Soccer Path of Greatness
KIMBERLEY – The Swedish coastal city of Helsingborg bears many a feature of old civilization like Kimberley. Similarly; the two cities are tied to some new age mutual love over the name Amethyst Bradley “Surprise” Ralani. The Kimberley born nimble-footed playmaker plied his trade for the second tier Helsingborgs IF where he mesmerized the opposition with consistent displays of his enormous talent. It was Ralani’s second stint at Helsingborgs IF, having jumped shores from Denmark’s coastal outfit Lyngby Bolkklub. He left Lyngby Bolkklub having catapulted them to the Danish Superliga in the 2015-2016 season. And now, the sea called again.
Ralani is back home aged 30 with eight years of European experience and plying his trade for the first time in the Premier Soccer League at Cape Town City under the tutelage of one of South Africa’s favourite footballing sons in Benni McCarthy. Much of Ralani’s remarkable 40 appearances with eight goals in the 2016-2017 season, were under the team Manager Henrik Larsson, a world footballing legend born in Helsingborg. According to Soccer Laduma, the team’s website quoted Larsson at the time of welcoming Ralani as such; “Surprise I know very well already, he is technical, fast attacking player that I feel we need. When the opportunity arose, it was too good to let it pass.” Like McCarthy, Larsson can easily crack a spot in Sweden’s all-time best five players.
Dear Reader, to assist your memory, former Manchester United’s Swedish born star Zlatan Ibrahimović must allow for three spaces behind the name Henrik Larsson and clinch spot number five. Could the Larsson factor lessen the dressing room tension for Ralani in having a coach of McCarthy’s stature? “Not intimidated at all, yet I don’t want to compare as they both have done great in their careers as footballers and for that they deserve to be equally respected by me,” riposted Ralani. And on the Cape Town City style of play and having played in Europe? “Here at City, we also play a formation that suits me quite well, just a matter of time and I will be rolling in it with the team. In Mzansi (South Africa) we are spoiled with talent, whereas in Europe it’s more about being tactically sound as a team.”
The Blue and Gold Army’s prospects of clinching the league gold medal of honour amid a 2016/2017 maiden season of coming five points short of the 60 amassed by reigning champs, Bidvest Wits, brims with possibility again. The effervescent Ralani’s rejoinder on City’s glory craving was such; “when I came here, the goal of the club was made very clear to me and it would be very nice to be crowned champions at the end of this campaign.”