The 25 year-old left back has just been snatched up by glamour club Kaizer Chiefs, arguably the most prolific club in the history of South African soccer, and one which virtually all aspiring players in the country want to end up playing for.
Gordon moved to Scotland when he was eight years old in 1990. But at the back of his mind was always the dream to come back home to South Africa. “My roots are here, I have family here and I always did want to play football in South Africa.” The European education clearly seen in the use of the word football.
Gillie – Gordon’s nickname – came back to South Africa 4 years ago after finishing his studies in construction management in East Fife, close to Edinburgh. His big dream though was always to play football for a pro team, preferably in South Africa. To that end Gillie played at club level with St Johnson before moving to East Fife. Such is the talent of Gillie, that East Fife did not want him to leave. Despite the Scottish accent, Gillie’s heart is in South Africa.
Upon his return 4 years ago, Gillie was spotted by the TUKS coach Steve Hobbs who immediately saw the then 21 year old's potential and signed him up for the University team where he played for the next 2 years.
“Their approach is amazing. Really professional the way they train and look after their players. During my two years at TUKS I wanted for nothing. The guys in the gym were always willing to help; the whole back up team that the hpc provided was incredible. Need a physio, no problem. Injuries, they’ve got the doctors. It’s a really professional set up at the hpc and TUKS.”
That back up, combined with Gillie's undoubted talent and work ethic, saw him snapped up by Mpumalanga Black Aces, the old Witbank Black Aces club; and Gillie was on his way to becoming a “pro footballer” as he always wanted to be.
The cherry came when he was signed by the mighty Amakhosi at the end of last season. “I’ve been with them now for a month and it has been fantastic. The club has so much history and tradition, and such a pedigree, it’s a dream come true. But the bottom line is, without the grounding received at TUKS and the High Performance Centre, University of Pretoria, I would never be here now”
Gillie “returned to his roots” so to speak last week when he and the rest of the Chiefs team were training at the hpc. For a pro team such as the Amakhosi to make use of the facilities at the hpc, speaks volumes for the centre.