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McClive Phiri opens up on Sekhukhune exit, reveals depression struggles

McClive Phiri has opened up for the first time how he was offloaded at Sekhukhune United just months after helping the team to get promotion into the South African top-flight league.

The Zimbabwean was one of the key members of the squad, playing 28 out of 30 league games, in which he scored five goals and made eight assists.

His contract was not renewed when it expired in June.

Phiri had signed a one-year deal with an option to extend it with another year.

In an interview with the Chronicle, the forward said he received notification from his club’s team manager that the club would not be exercising the option to sign for another season.

Phiri revealed: “At the end of my first season at Sekhukhune and having helped them into the Premier League, the team manager told me that I would not be returning to them.

“He said the club had decided against exercising their one-year extension option.

“I was heartbroken, I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t even tell my wife what had happened.”

The 28-year old said he went into a deep depression as he struggled to accept the fate.

“It was a very painful experience for me given all the work I put in to see the team promoted and at the time I kept thinking to myself that now I was unemployed.

“I was asking myself why me? After all I was disciplined, came to training on time yet they offloaded me and I found myself in a situation where I had no team and no income,” he added.

With the help of his uncle, Phiri signed for Venda Academy in the National First Division at the start of the season. He has played 13 out of 15 games for his new club, missing the first two matches due to work permit issue.

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