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Dolly Finally Opens Up On France Experience

Keagan Dolly has finally opened up on his spell in the French Ligue 1, detailing his experience like it’s never been heard before.

The Kaizer Chiefs talisman was signed by Montpelier in January 2017 from Mamelodi Sundowns, but his chance at being a regular was curtailed by a horrific leg break that appears to have given the impression he was now injury-prone.

Dolly set the record straight.

“My time in France was difficult for me and it was something new and I feel like it’s something I had to go through as a person and as a player. I feel like I am more experienced now and more matured – and you can see on the field. I am more decisive, I feel like the old Keagan Dolly because I am creating and scoring goals,” he said from the Bafana Bafana team hotel having returned to the national team for their World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe on Thursday and then Ghana on Sunday.

The 28-year-old, who became a father towards the end of his Montpellier stint, admitted he often wondered whether he’d made a mistake by moving to France – but the fact that he continued to fight his way into the team for more than four years, no doubt speaks about his determination and personality.

“Before I left for France, I played at Ajax and Sundowns regularly and hardly got injured. When I got to France it was just different, I couldn’t break into the first team. I first had to get used a different culture and language. The first six months were difficult for me and from there I didn’t have the confidence,” Dolly explained.  

“When I did get to play I either went off injured or didn’t play well and that had a mental effect on me. I was far from home, didn’t have a lot of support and I always felt like ‘was it the right move, was I happy to be there’? I think you could see it on the field as well, I wasn’t free – it was a confidence thing with me. Everyone here at home has my back and I think that’s what I needed in France.”

His return home, by joining Amakhosi, has definitely brought about a revival with Dolly the club’s top scorer with five goals from 11 matches.

“My confidence is back and that’s what you need when you come into the national team. I scored two goals in a Soweto Derby, something that I have always wanted to be a part of. I think coming back to Chiefs and having players that I know from the past, obviously the technical team I worked with before as well at the national team, I just feel at home. It’s people that I understand,” added Dolly.

Dolly is one of five players Chiefs have used the most this season...

 

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