I’d Like To Be The Next Benni
In this week's edition of Soccer Laduma, issue number 907, Santos' exciting teenage striker, Fagrie Lakay, opens up to Soccer Laduma’s Peter Raath about his dreams for the future.
He also discusses injuries, his role model and the late Senzo Meyiwa - with the NFD Focus brought to you by BUCO.
When questioned about his injury that cost him a place in the Amajita squad that participated in the successful Commonwealth Cup in Russia, Lakay said “I’d have loved to represent the U20s again, but you know, being a football player, you need to expect these types of things. For me it opened my eyes that anything can happen. It’s my first major injury.
“I also missed Santos’ match with Dutch side, PEC Zwolle. Basically, they (PEC Zwolle) came to see me and the coach said that they’d love to have me back in Holland. It’s my dream to play in Europe. I’m expecting to hear from them later, as I can only sign in May after my 18th birthday.
Affectionately known as 'Hulk' in local football circles, the pacey frontman also believes that despite them lying nine points adrift of the log leaders, Jomo Cosmos, they could still be on course to challenge and clinch the NFD title.
“I think we can win the league. Everyone is talking about promotion after being in the NFD for three seasons. The second round won’t be easy, we know that for sure, but the guys are willing to push no matter who the opposition is. Normally teams look ahead and talk about winning their next two games in a row, but at Santos we try for victory then go to the following match, taking it one step at a time, " Lakay said.
He further added that legendary Bafana Bafana striker, Benni McCarthy, tops the list as his role model.
“I told him that I enjoyed the way he played, and that one day I wanted to be like him. He said, Anything is possible if you work hard.” He’s played in the Champions League, but there needs to be someone who can continue (with his success). I’d like to be the next Benni McCarthy. I haven’t made it yet, so that’s how I motivate myself to reach a higher level and get even better.
“Benni came from a similar area to mine, but he made the decision to play football. No matter who you are, anything is possible.
Despite not having known the sadly departed former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, for that long, Hulk took time to reminisce about ‘Casillas’.
“We joked about the goal I scored against him. I’d wanted to score before that (a year prior when Santos played Pirates in the Nedbank Cup) so I told him, “Now I’ve got you.” His reply was, “It happened once, but it will never happen again.”
“I didn’t know Senzo for long, but I found he had a good personality. He was very funny, always making people smile. There was joy and happiness in camp when Senzo was there. That’s the type of person he was. Not many local guys get the opportunity to play against Bafana Bafana, so for me it was a good feeling to play and score against the best goalkeeper in the country, " he concluded.
To read Lakay's full interview, check out edition 907 of Soccer Laduma on shelves now, page 18, with the NFD Focus brought to you by BUCO.