Keagan Dolly - Fact File

Dolly Set On Growing At Ajax

Keagan Dolly is red-hot in South African football at the moment. After his outstanding performance for Ajax Cape Town last season, the ABSA Premiership young player of the season is being tracked by some of the biggest clubs in the country. But where does the attacking midfielder see his career going? Dolly talks about his future plans.

Personal Information
Full names: Keagan Lorenzo Dolly
Date of birth: 22 January 1993
Place of birth: Johannesburg

Nickname: Keagz
Jersey no: 28
Position: Attacking midfielder

Club: Ajax Cape Town
Previous teams: Mamelodi Sundowns and School of excellence

Honours: 2013/14 PSL young Player of the Season  

Keagan, basically everyone is talking about Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs being linked with you.  Given the money they have, is it not time to start thinking of cashing-in with a move to one of them? 

As a youngster it`s always tempting to just go after the money you know. A lot of people have spoken to me about this, they have told me I`m still young and should not be in it for the cash. When I was younger, I used to tell myself that I`m not doing this for money. I told myself I love playing soccer. I mean, I look up to a guy like Thulani Hlatshwayo, he stayed at Ajax for a number of seasons and when the time was right, he moved. He went to Wits where I`m sure he`s getting good money. That’s why I want to stay a bit longer at Ajax. Then maybe one day a better contract will pop up.

What is your fear of leaving for  Chiefs, Downs and Bucs right now? 

In England if Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool come calling at a smaller team, a player normally jumps at the chance. No, overseas it`s different. Youngsters by the age of 15 or 16 get opportunities to make the first team. In South Africa, when you are 17 to 21, they consider you a “small boy”. It`s not that I`m afraid of competition or whatever. It`s just that it`s not the right time to move.  Ajax gave me the platform to start my career. To just leave right away would not be fair. I left Sundowns because I didn`t get an opportunity in the first team. So, after joining Ajax I played against Manchester United in my first season. This shows you how first team game time can be important to your career. It would be pointless for me to go somewhere and play for half the season, and then in the other half not even be included in the squad. I just believe if I stay at Ajax my possibilities of going to Europe are much better than they are in Johannesburg.

Why didn’t things work-out for you at Downs’ development?

I just decided that the place where we stayed was not good. In the development ranks things kept changing. There were tactical and team changes. New coaches kept coming and going. There just wasn`t an opportunity for me to show-case my talent in the first team, I mean, I played once in the first team in the three years I was there. I just figured out that the club was not for me.

Having experienced life first hand at Chloorkop, how much could Downs’ buying policy impact youth development in your opinion? 

Obviously Sundowns are a big team, they have lots of money. So, if you are an established player in South Africa then it`s because they want to win things. I think it`s working for them to buy all the big players, but for young players who come through the development, it`s a setback to be loaned out. Ajax for example is a club known for promoting and playing youngsters. That`s the difference between Ajax and Downs. Ajax believe in promoting players and playing them. Sundowns believe in winning trophies. I`m not sure I wouldn`t want to go back. Downs will always have a place in my heart. They helped me when I was younger. If I had not spent three years there, then I wouldn`t be the player I am today. Look, anything can happen in football and I could even join them in the future. You can`t rule anything out.

Let`s talk about Pirates’ interest in you. They are a team often associated with fast wing play, where could you potentially fit in with the Bucs current line-up?

They have many wingers and they are good. It`s would be a privilege to play with the likes of Daine Klate, Sifiso Myeni and Tlou Segolela. But, if I went there, I`d want to play the free role, in front of Oupa Manyisa.

If you could wrap up your career in a present, stating what it is that you want to achieve, what would the future hold for Keagan Dolly?

I’d stay at Ajax for another season or two. I`d say if I don`t move to Europe in the next two or three seasons, possibly I`d move to one of the big clubs in Gauteng. That`s my home and that would be ideal for me. So really it`s one more year at Ajax then a move to one of the smaller teams in Europe.

Keagz, thank you very for your time,
Thank you