Kick Off

Making up for lost time


Fagrie Lakay was a teenage prodigy in South Africa football who burst onto the scene almost a decade ago, but then endured some difficult ul years as he tried to make the step up to the DStv Premiershi­p. i . The e forward has been in superb form for Cape Town To City of late though and recently received a recall to the Bafana Bafana squad, where he still holds the record re as the th country’s youngest ever senior internatio­nal. KICK OFF’s Nick Said spoke to him about his journey in football so far.

Fagrie Lakay made his profession­al debut as a 15-year-old and by the age of 17 was the youngest ever Bafana Bafana internatio­nal, a record he still holds today. But it is fair to say that he got a little lost in the wilderness after that, with spells at SuperSport United and BidVest Wits not quite going to plan, though in the latter stint he was hampered by a broken leg.

But now, still only 24 and almost a decade after his club debut, he is firing again with Cape Town City and showing the kind of qualities many saw in him as a teenage prodigy.

He admits it has been a see-saw journey to get to this point but was rewarded with another call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad for the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana. This time he hopes he is there to stay.

Lakay was spotted at open trials by Cape Town side current third-tier side Santos, who were then campaignin­g in the GladAfrica Championsh­ip. It was there he got his big break.

“My Dad used to have a team called Real Stars, that’s where I started out,” Lakay says. “But before that I had a best friend and I used to go and watch him play. That’s where I really got interested in the game.”

As for the move to Santos, Lakay says it was a chance occurrence after his father responded to an advert for the open trials.

“It was really quite simple, my Dad read in the newspaper that Santos were having trials and he took me along. I will never forget it; he came home from work and I was playing outside with a few of my friends.

“He took me and some of those friends to the trials and that was how I started at the club. They obviously saw something in me.”

Lakay was 15 years, 4 months and 20


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