Dolly joins top players ’ list
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.