As the club continues to struggle, Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly says putting the team’s needs ahead of his own is something that comes naturally.
Johannesburg — Keagan Dolly is a team player and it’s easier for him to lend a helping hand to a teammate during matches than look after his own game.
When Dolly joined Chiefs from French outfit Montpellier two years ago a lot was expected from the Bafana Bafana player but he’s had an up and down time with his childhood club and he’s yet to be at his very best.
He was expected to play a crucial part in their new dawn this season and help challenge his former club, Mamelodi Sundowns, for the championship.
That hasn’t been the case. Not only are Chiefs out of the title race with seven games to go as they trail log leaders Sundowns by 22 points but Dolly himself has not hit the levels he did at Sundowns before he went overseas.
That hasn’t gone down well with Chiefs’ supporters, who’ve heavily criticised his form as he was supposed to lead from the front.
“For me personally, I don’t look too deep into it. I have been playing football for quite some time now. I have been on both sides of winning and not getting the results,” Dolly said.
“But it comes with experience, I take it (the criticism). I am one of the leaders at the club and experienced players. So I must be an example to the youngsters.”
Dolly, though, has over-done his guiding of the youngsters and teammates that he admits he tends to neglect his own duties on the pitch, resulting in average performances.
“Sometimes, I don’t think of doing that, it just comes naturally. Maybe it’s because I am more of a team player first. I always say if the team does well, then everyone will shine,” Dolly said.
“I know sometimes I focus more on helping my teammates, and I forget that I should play my own game. But I am here for the team and to help everyone. At the end of the day, it’s a team sport.”
Dolly’s inconsistent performances have cost him a spot in the national team in recent months. He had to watch from home when Bafana recently qualified for Afcon next year.
Dolly, though, is not giving up representing Bafana just yet as he knows that doing well for Chiefs is what will motivate his case to coach Hugo Broos ahead of the finals in Ivory Coast.
“Since I started playing football, I always wanted to be a part of the national team set-up. I have been part of it from the Under-20 level,” Dolly explained.
“I captained the Under-23s at the Olympics. So I have always had the ambition to help the country to qualify for major tournaments and make our people proud.
“But I am at the point that I am trying to help Kaizer Chiefs achieve what we want as a club. So if I do get a national team call-up it would obviously be an honour to represent my country.”
Chiefs’ primary target is to finish second in the league and qualify for the CAF Champions League next season, and top that off by winning the Nedbank Cup.
And that’s why Dolly and Co don’t want to think beyond their league clash on Saturday when they welcome Stellenbosch to the FNB Stadium (5.30pm kick-off). Stellies can blow anyone away on their day and Chiefs will know they have a challenge on their hands.