Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper takes us back to London at Craven Cottage, where he played for Fulham under the legendary former England captain and manager, Kevin Keegan. The former Bafana goalkeeper tells us how he ended up signing his contract at the world famous department store Harrods and the player that stood out for him at Fulham.
“I joined Fulham in 1998 and that took place after we played a friendly against England in 1997,” Andre Arendse told ThisIsFootball.Africa.
“We played England at Old Trafford, and Fulham came and scouted. They liked what they saw of me and asked me to sign a contract with them in 1998. It was such a fabulous time in my career, because the goal was for me to eventually play overseas. It was at a time where the club had just been bought by the billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, who owned Harrods at the time, and they asked me to come and sign the contract at the famous store. That was fantastic. Fulham were in a lower league at the time, not quite Premier league then and we were still building to get to the Premier League. One of the players who certainly stood out, in terms of teammates was our captain Chris Coleman, the Welsh international. He is now one of the top coaches in the game right now. He was our captain and led the team so well. He also helped me learn so much about the game. It was literally a milestone signing in my career, having that opportunity to sign for a phenomenal club like Fulham.”
The current SuperSport United assistant coach also shared some of his thoughts about working under the two-time Ballon D’Or winner, Kevin Keegan. Keegan initially found fame on British soil with the great Liverpool team under the late Bill Shankly, before making his dream move abroad, conquering Germany with Hamburg in the late 1970’s.
“At the time I signed the contract the coach was Mickey Adams, during that period that I was there, Mohamad Al Fayed came in and bought the club. He then subsequently brought in Kevin Keegan as the manager and Ray Wilkins as his assistant. The two of them were top England international players in their playing days. The two of them quickly started to rebuild the team. Even though I didn’t get a lot of game time under Kevin Keegan, it was the experience of working with a top coach like him that counted so much for me. Keegan was a top player, well respected and a well-known international person in the game of football. Just from a coaching perspective in terms of learning about the game from a technical and tactical point of view, my time there was something that has always helped me in my career. Especially in my coaching career from what I’ve learned playing under him. His standards were very high, and that’s not surprising when you consider that he played for big clubs in Germany and England and also coached massive clubs like Newcastle United and Manchester City. What I picked up from him is something I certainly cherish and can be seen in the way that I have taken it into my own career.”
Andre Arendse was 30 years old when he signed for Fulham from Cape Town Spurs for a reported 200 000 pounds (R 4 300 000), in 1997.