Former star Elrio battling to find a club

Nick Said

FORMER Bafana Bafana midfielder Elrio van Heerden remains without a club and, at the age of 29, is battling to resurrect his soccer career.

Gelvandale-born Van Heerden, who has had previous spells in Denmark, Belgium, England and Turkey, was once described by current Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter as the future of South African football, but he has not managed to live up to that potential.

He was expected to play a major role for the national side at the 2010 World Cup, but after he left Belgian side Club Brugge in 2009 his career has been in decline.

Failed moves to Blackburn Rovers in England and Sivasspor in Turkey on loan followed, before he joined Lamontville Golden Arrows via Westerlo in Belgium for the 2011-12 campaign.

Van Heerden has been an inspiration for many youngsters in the northern areas. He spent his formative years at Glenville Celtic before becoming a star player at the UPE-FCK Soccer School of Excellence. His progress there saw him land a professional contract at FC Copenhagen where he started his career.

Since leaving Abafana Bes’thende at the end of last season he has struggled to find a new team, and Times Media understands he is holding out for a return overseas instead of options at home.

He had trials at Major League Soccer side Kansas City in November last year, but failed to win a contract with the team and further opportunities have dried up.

He is a free agent, though, which means he can sign for a club outside of the transfer window.

Van Heerden won 38 caps for Bafana between 2004 and 2009, scoring three goals.

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