Cape Town - Fagrie Lakay believes that every footballer has their time to shine - and the 17-year-old is eager to show his worth for Bafana Bafana.
Read: Shakes keen on Under-17 players
Lakay was a shock call-up to the Bafana squad after coach Shakes Mashaba handed the Santos striker a chance to jump from the Under-20 squad to the senior set-up.
Lakay's call-up in part was no doubt thanks in part to the goal he scored against Bafana in their warm-up match against Santos prior to their goalless AFCON qualifier draw against Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium last month.
“For me to being called up to the national team, it means a lot at this stage because there are lots of kids out there that want to play for the national team,” said Lakay on UCT Radio.
This is not the first time Lakay and Mashaba will be working together as the current Grade 12 student and 64-year-old have met at different levels in the Under-17 and Under-20 national teams.
Lakay, who idolises former Bafana Bafana striker Benny McCarthy and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, admits that he was surprised by the call-up.
“At the moment I am working very hard. I’ve worked with coach Shakes, so I knew it was going to come some day but just came a bit sooner than I expected.”
“Different players achieve their goals at different ages but they should never give up because it’s never too late to follow your dreams, anything is possible.”
The player already has his sights on jumping from National First Division to the Absa Premiership. He sees Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits as teams where he could fit in because of their youth policy and further move onto the European stage with clubs in Belgium and Holland.
“If you play for the senior national team anything is possible. That’s where people from overseas see you and it can open doors for you wherever,” the striker said.
With the transition in SAFA and youth development which has brought about some changes, Lakay believes that the future is looking bright for South African football.
“South African youth development at the moment, we developing good players because if you look our under 17 team, they qualified now for African Youth Championship and also the under 20’s also qualified which means we are doing very good and we progressing in junior football and it will pay off for Bafana.”
Bafana are due to play Congo in back-to-back games in the AFCON qualifying rounds.
The 2015 tournament will held in Morocco between January 17 and February 7.
Bafana Bafana fixtures:
Saturday, October 11, Congo v SA (Pointe Noire) at 16:30
Wednesday, October 15, SA vs Congo (Peter Mokaba Stadium) at 20:05