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Stober - Strikers are born, not made 19/03/04
Wednesday's Castle Premiership clash between Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs once again highlighted the lack of quality strikers in South Africa.

SASoccer365's Anthony McLennan spoke to a man who is well qualified to assess the problem - former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates striker, Gerald Stober.

Stober, who was the league's leading goalscorer with 19 goals while at Hellenic in 1995 and is now involved in coaching at a Cape Town club, was happy to offer his insight into the matter.

He feels that the problem is a deep-rooted one, with no immediate solution in sight.

"I think that the striking department in South African football has always been a problematic area. I cannot pinpoint the problem, but if you look back at the top goalscorer's list over the years, you will see that there is seldom a striker that scores more than 20 goals a season," he said.

The Cape-Town-born player pointed out the lack of directness shown by PSL strikers as a possible factor.

"Our strikers seem to lack the directness and urgency to go straight at goal in the way a player like Newcastle United's Alan Shearer or Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan does in Europe.

"South African strikers tend to over-elaborate when they get near their opponent's goal."

Stober did not agree that specialised striker's coaches could help to produce more top class strikers as he believes that the ability to score goals is something that a player is born with.

"Quality specialised coaching might well help to produce more lethal strikers, but at the same time I firmly believe that a striker is born, not cultivated.

"They need to have that instinctive knack for where the goal is and have a natural ability to finish.

"These characteristics may be able to be fine-tuned while the player is still at junior level, but once he reaches senior level, the player either has it or he doesn't."

The former Buccaneer refused to bow to the idea that scoring goals is more difficult these days due to an improvement in the standard of defences.

"The game has not changed a lot from when I was playing, but I feel that matches are often confined too much to midfield, there is not enough emphasis on getting the ball into advanced positions," he said.



Weekend referees

Santos forced to pay-up

Preview: Stars v Ajax

It will be tough - Doctor

Mabizela set to be axed as captain

Friday's readers' views...

Strikers need expert guidance - Dearnaley

Manning Rangers v Jomo Cosmos

Preview: Dynamos v Hellenic

It's gonna be tough - King Arthur

Igesund berates the omission of Josephs

Stober - Strikers are born, not made

Bartlett - I would love to play next World Cup

Fixtures for Absa last 16 draw

Photo gallery : Ajax vs Chiefs

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