DURBAN – Keagan Dolly has shrugged off the pain of missing out on an opportunity to represent Bafana Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt recently and is now looking forward inspiring the country to another major tournament.
Bafana will begin their journey towards booking a ticket to Cameroon, where the Afcon will held in 2021, with back-to-back matches against Ghana and Sudan next month.
But before they square off against the Black Stars and Sudan, Dolly and Co have to focus firmly on their clash against Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
The game will be staged at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday at 3.30pm.
Dolly is back in the team after recovering from an injury that saw him missing out on an opportunity to campaign in his first major tournament for the senior team.
Before training at Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth yesterday, Dolly expressed his burning aspiration to help Bafana reach greater heights.
“I don’t think the desire will go away ever, no matter what age I am. I’m always willing to play for my .
“I’m always willing to travel from Europe to play for my country because this has been my dream since I was a young footballer from Westbury – to represent my country. I think with the squad we have, with the players we have, the Under-23s and Under-20s, I think we have good players.
I’m looking forward to keep on going and try to qualify for all the major tournaments coming up. And it is not just qualifying but going there and doing our best to try and win it,” Dolly said.
Bafana crashed out of the quarter-finals of the Afcon in Egypt following a defeat against Nigeria. Dolly watched from home because of an injury.
“Obviously, it was very disappointing. I had a difficult year where I picked up small injury after small injury. To be part of the road to Egypt and then not go there with my teammates and friends was a bit disappointing but I’m proud of what the boys did.
They were unfortunate against Nigeria but overall they did well and made us proud. All I can do is to focus on the next games. I have to keep on working hard to make sure that I’m representing my country,” he added.
Dolly moved abroad in 2017 after winning multiple trophies with Mamelodi Sundowns and his dream is to help Bafana do what they achieved in 1996 when they were crowned the champions of Africa on home soil.
“That’s why I moved abroad. I feel like I achieved everything that I wanted to achieve in the PSL. I moved to Europe and I’m still working towards what I set out for myself. Now my focus is trying to win cups with my national team.
I think we are on the right path. If we keep on working hard and being consistent, things will work out for us.” Dolly elaborated.
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