The South African youngster has matured after a troublesome past
is seen as a potential solution to South Africa’s goal-scoring problem at national team level in the years to come. The teenager, who spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon from Bidvest Wits, has come a long way already in his fledgling career, and has also had to overcome personal tragedy that he says has helped shape him as a footballer and taken him from boy to man in double-quick time.
liam Jordan might not have got on the score sheet at the 2017 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in South Korea in May, but he showed glimpses of why he is highly regarded as a future senior national team star. The Durban-born youngster, who turns 19 on July 30, has always had things come easily to him on the football pitch given his natural talent, yet off it, things have been very hard.
The son of the late former Manning
Rangers, Auckland City and Bafana Bafana striker Keryn Jordan, who passed away after a long fight with cancer of the brain in October 2013, he has a steely determination to succeed and sets almost impossibly high standards for himself. He admits that has gotten him into trouble in the past, but acknowledges, too, that he has grown and matured through these experiences. Liam was born in Durban, but moved to New Zealand in 2004 when Keryn got the opportunity to play abroad. “I remember him telling me years later when I was wondering why we were in this country, that he got offered a contract from the [New Zealand] Knights, who were playing in the Australian League,” Liam tells KICK OFF exclusively in Portugal. “They were the most professional team in New Zealand at that stage, and had good players. Eventually he got there, but it didn’t work out. They were struggling financially, so dad went to Waitakere United after that. “We moved there because of football, but also because of family, to get me and mum out of the environment of South Africa and to experience a new country. New Zealand is beautiful.”