Dolly joins top play­ers ’ list

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - MARC STRY­DOM

KEA­GAN Dolly has a bright fu­ture ahead of him af­ter win­ning the PSL young player of the sea­son award for 2013/14, if the for­tunes of his pre­de­ces­sors are to go by.

But the Ajax Cape Town winger/play­maker should not rest on his lau­rels and think that the award means that he has ar­rived, be­cause it is also no guar­an­tee of suc­cess.

Trained in the Mamelodi Sun­downs academy be­fore be­ing spotted in the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Bay­hill Un­der-19 Cup and signed by then-Ajax coach Maarten Steke­len­burg, the silky-skilled for­ward s drilling from a young age shows.

Dolly who played 27 times in the league for Ajax this sea­son, in­clud­ing 24 starts, and scored three goals joins some il­lus­tri­ous names.

Sun­day World looks at the for­tunes of the pre­vi­ous young player win­ners: 2006/07: Clif­ford Ngobeni The cen­tral mid­fielder burst on to the scene for Ajax and earned com­par­isons to for­mer Or­lando Pi­rates an­chor John Moeti.

He fea­tured less for Pi­rates af­ter join­ing them in 2010, then fell vic­tim to a con­trac­tual dis­pute that kept him out of the game for months be­fore he joined Golden Ar­rows. He’s a rea­son­ably in­flu­en­tial mid­fielder for Mpumalanga Black Aces, though only 13 starts in the past sea­son seem too lit­tle for a player with his ar­ray of skills. 2007/08: No award 2008/09: Bon­gani Khu­malo Khu­malo has not quite reached the po­ten­tial we all thought he had af­ter a storm­ing 2010 World Cup.

The one-time Bafana cap­tain has been plagued by in­juries, and could not make the break­through at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

He also strug­gled in the Cham­pi­onship with Pre­ston and Read­ing. A promis­ing past sea­son for Don­caster Rovers, de­spite their rel­e­ga­tion, gives hope that the big man is on the mend. 2009/10: Siyanda Xulu Xulu was good enough as a teenager to have tri­als with Barcelona and Ar­se­nal. He plays against Hulk in the Rus­sian Pre­mier League for FC Ros­tov. A few more Rus­sian win­ters are sure to toughen him up. He’s yet to nail down a reg­u­lar na­tional team place, but Xulu is still young 22 and has time to de­velop.

2010/11: Thu­lani Serero

Serero also won foot­baller, player s player and player of the sea­son in 2010/11, a re­mark­able achieve­ment for a 21-year-old. The skil­ful for­ward played a bit part in his first two in­jury-hit sea­sons at Ajax Am­s­ter­dam. He had a break­through as Ajax won a fourth suc­ces­sive league ti­tle in the past cam­paign, play­ing 39 times in all com­pe­ti­tions and be­ing called the beat­ing heart of the team in pos­ses­sion” by coach Frank de Boer.

2011/12 and 2012/13: Ron­wen Wil­liams

Still only 22, Wil­liams is a baby for a goal­keeper. In the past sea­son he ap­peared in the past sea­son to lack gen­uine com­pe­ti­tion for his club po­si­tion, and seemed to rest on his lau­rels.

But Wil­liams has the ath­letic abil­ity that makes for a su­perb shot-stopper, and is im­prov­ing un­der the high ball. He has a big fu­ture.

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